‘Under leadership of Nitish Kumar, NDA will fulfil the promise of this mandate’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 11 said that the Bihar poll verdict and that of bypolls in various States had demonstrated that the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) welfare and development policies had the trust of the people and were an endorsement of the way the COVID-19 pandemic had been combated.
Speaking at a thanksgiving function organised at the BJP’s national headquarters to mark the electoral successes, Mr. Modi stated that an NDA government under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would fulfil the promise of development that was inherent in the Bihar mandate.
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“The people of Bihar are both aware and discerning, and under the leadership of Nitish Kumar, the NDA will fulfil the promise of this mandate,” he said at a function where BJP president J. P. Nadda, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and Roads, and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari were present.
Coinciding with the timing of Mr. Modi’s speech was the first tweet that Mr. Kumar made on the Bihar verdict. “People are the real masters who gave a majority to the NDA… I pay my respects to them… I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his continued support,” he tweeted.
It was the first acknowledgement of the result by Mr. Kumar, who did not stir out of his official bungalow at 1 Anne Marg in Patna, triggering speculation that he could take some surprising steps following his party being reduced to a junior partner in the NDA. Janata Dal-United (JD-U) sources, however, told The Hindu that Mr. Kumar would be taking oath again as Chief Minister and that government formation exercises would reach fruition after Deepavali (November 14).
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‘BJP governance model’
Mr. Modi spoke at length at his party headquarters on the implications of Tuesday’s verdict, in Bihar and in other States such as Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Telangana and Gujarat. “Our victories have come from all four corners of the country, which shows that ours is the only national party that enjoys the trust of the people and the intentions of our governance model,” he said.
Mr. Modi added, “Attached to the party is our governance model. We repeatedly saw this in the way the corona pandemic was handled and combated. There is not a single corner of the world that has been unaffected by the pandemic, but the kind of fight that India put up has not been seen anywhere else. Every life that has been saved from corona is a success story of our fight against the disease,” he said.
He lauded the doughty spirit of Indians through the pandemic at having carried on with vital reforms and every day work when the world “was at a standstill” due to the pandemic.
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Mr. Modi singled out women as having particularly “blessed” the BJP and NDA partners in these polls, and enumerated on the various schemes aimed at them. “There is a lot of talk of silent voters that the BJP has. These silent voters are our mothers, sisters and daughters who have repeatedly blessed us. Our government has, from gas connections to allowances to toilets to one rupee sanitary napkins to piped water connections done everything we can to make the every day life of women at every stage of their life better in material terms,” he said.
Battle for Bengal
Without naming West Bengal, Mr. Modi referred to the State and the violence against the BJP workers there. “There are some who try to make democracy a game of death and this cannot be so, and I want to tell such parties that this game is incompatible with democracy, a writing on the wall that such parties should heed,” he said.
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He also said that the democratic polity in India was riddled with dynastic parties from Jammu & Kashmir to Kanyakumari. “Unfortunately, even a national party that had in the past ruled the country is in the clutches of one family,” he said. He exhorted party workers and leaders to strengthen inner party democracy within the BJP to escape such situations. “We are devoted to democracy,” he said.
He concluded his speech by inviting youth who wanted to serve the country through democratic institutions to join the BJP.
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