With the heat and dust of elections over, Narendra Modi on Monday said it is time to resurrect the spirit of bi-partisanship in Indian politics which was temporarily lost in the poll campaign.
Gujarat's chief minister and Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), addresses his party's supporters during a rally ahead of the 2014 general elections, in Mumbai. (Reuters)
"This is the right time to look ahead. It is a time to connect with each other. Lets place people over politics, hope over despair, healing over hurting, inclusion over exclusion and development over divisiveness. "It is natural for the spirit of bi-partisanship to get temporarily lost in the midst of an election campaign but now is the time to resurrect it," Modi said in his blog at the end of polling today, bringing the curtains down on the long election process. Admitting that this has been a hard-fought election which witnessed both joyous and heated moments, BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate said, "Now is the time to put the heat and dust of campaign behind and look ahead.
Irrespective of who wins on the 16th, the dreams of a billion Indians should not suffer." He said though political parties and candidates have differing ideologies, "but our goal is one - to work for India and to fulfil the aspirations of our youth."
Modi also took a swipe at Congress saying the ruling party which sets poll agenda has neither been proactive nor responsive, but reactive and lauded the NDA for being firmly focussed on its agenda of development and good governance. "There were attempts to digress from these issues but we remained firm," he said, apparently referring to the political discourse on his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Modi said history will remember the 2014 elections as historic that marked a paradigm shift from conventional electioneering. "Normally, the party in power sets the agenda of the campaign but for the first time it was not the case. Far from setting the agenda, the ruling party was neither proactive nor responsive. It was only reactive throughout the campaign," he said. He expressed happiness that NDA remained firm on its agenda of development and good governance as elections should be fought on positive issues and the alliance was able to alter the discourse in a way that helped people make their choices on the basis of a positive agenda.
"We did not stop there; we successfully forced these two issues to become the focal point of the campaign," he said. Modi said the 2014 Lok Sabha elections will stand out for the increased turnout and gave credit to people of the country for being "undisputed winners" . He also expressed his gratitude to the Election Commission for conducting the mammoth exercise. The BJP Prime Ministerial candidate has attacked the EC and accused it of being "partisan" during the campaigning.
"We already have the undisputed winners and they are the people of India! Once again, India has won, the power of the ballot has triumphed and the spirit of democracy has shown itself supreme," he said. "I congratulate the EC & the entire election & security staff for their continuous efforts during the entire Election," he said.
He also lauded the role of social media and said due to it "lies & false promises" of several leaders could not go beyond the podiums of their rallies and called for more powers to the social media. "It has caused the downfall of manufactured lies and half -truths at a very nascent stage...In this age of information and social media the lies that come out of their microphones cannot even get past the podium of their speech venues, forget reaching others. More power to social media in the days ahead," he said.
Modi also recounted some untoward incidents during the poll process in which some lives were lost and saluted those who were martyred and offered his condolences to the bereaved families. "These brave individuals lived and died for democracy. It is our duty to ensure that their sacrifices do not go in vain," he said. He congratulated the media for covering every aspect of this election but noted that there is immense room for improving the debate and discourse surrounding the elections.
Talking about the Assembly polls in Odisha, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, he lamented that due to the Lok Sabha campaign, local issues of these states could not be discussed the manner in which they ideally should have been. With curtains down on the Lok Sabha polls and results due on May 16, Modi made a call for beginning the journey towards "Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat" and "create an India our founding fathers would be proud of".