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India will regain importance in the world order, says PM Modi

The prime minister is on his first visit to his home state after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s massive victory in the Lok Sabha polls.

india Updated: May 27, 2019 00:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PM Modi,Modi in Ahmedabad
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi (R) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah wave at supporters during a public meeting, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on May 26, 2019. (Siddharaj Solanki / Hindustan Times)

Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi on Sunday vowed to further enhance India’s position at the world stage and set the goal of regaining the country’s rightful position in the global order over the next five years.

“The coming five years will be important in India’s history as was the period between 1942 to 1947. If we see the five years before Independence, they were crucial to revive the Indian spirit and energise people to fight the external forces and come out of problems,’’ Modi said at a felicitation ceremony organised at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office in Ahmedabad.

Modi arrived in Ahmedabad for the felicitation in his home state of Gujarat three days after the BJP swept back to power with 303 seats in 543-member Lok Sabha. The BJP improved its tally of 282 seats it won in the 2014 national elections.

Modi, who will be administered the oath of office for his second term along with his new council of ministers on May 30, said his second term in office is an opportunity to awaken the public and work for new achievements. “We must work as one society with one purpose in one direction to regain the rightful position of India in the world order,” said Modi.

“In the past, our country had that place. I am sure India will regain its importance in the world order.”

Modi said that the massive mandate given to the BJP showed that people wanted a strong government in Delhi. He added he was always sure that the BJP will get more than 300 seats no matter what the pundits said. “In this election, many pundits failed. After the sixth phase of polling [on May 12], I had said that we will get more than 300 seats. Many people made fun of me. During the whole election, it was noticed that the people were voting to make the government strong,” said Modi.

He urged the BJP cadres to remain humble after the landslide victory.

Modi and BJP president Amit Shah asked the crowd at the ceremony to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ so loudly that the chants are heard in West Bengal, where their party registered its best performance in national polls.

The BJP won 18 out of 42 seats in the state after a bitter campaign and regular war of words with the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress and chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Modi recalled his days as Gujarat chief minister. He added that though people in other parts of the country did not know him in 2014 when he first became the Prime Minister, they knew Gujarat very well for its development.

Modi referred to a video on the social media in which a woman from West Bengal kept saying ‘Modi, Modi’.”When asked why she said, ‘I had visited Gujarat and found development there, I want the same in Bengal.’”

Modi earlier began his speech by remembering the 22 victims killed in a fire at a coaching centre in Gujarat’s Surat on Friday. “Till yesterday [Saturday], I was in two minds whether to come for this felicitation function or not. On one hand, there was duty and on the other hand, there was compassion for those who died in Surat. No amount of words can reduce the grief of the families who have lost their children in that tragedy,” he said. “On the other hand, I had to thank the people of the state and also take blessings of my mother as my duty.”

Modi met his mother, Heeraben, after the felicitation ceremony on Sunday to seek her blessings in Gandhinagar, where she lives with her younger son. Modi spent about 20 minutes with his mother before leaving for his overnight stay at the Raj Bhavan. He was scheduled to leave for his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on Monday

The BJP planned to welcome Modi and Shah with much fanfare but kept the felicitation ceremony low-key in view of the Surat tragedy. There were no firecrackers as planned earlier.

The Congress said the event was by no means a “simple” one. “In a state that saw deaths of 22 children just two days ago, the function should have been avoided.

The fire tragedy highlighted the failure of the BJP government in the state where the party has won all 26 Lok Sabha seats in back to back elections,” Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said

First Published: May 26, 2019 19:17 IST