Narendra Modi gets emotional about BJP, cries thrice while addressing party leaders
Prime Minister Modi turned emotional as he recalled how the party organisation was built in Gujarat and young leaders were groomed by their seniors, including former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.india Updated: Dec 20, 2017 20:09 IST
An emotional Prime Minister Narendra Modi choked up at least thrice during a meeting of BJP parliamentarians on Wednesday as he rallied party leaders for the next general elections, barely two days after the twin victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
Though the media was not allowed in the meeting of the BJP parliamentary party, leaders said Modi turned emotional as he recalled how the party organisation was built in Gujarat and how former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee congratulated and hugged him after the party won 20 of 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 1999. Modi choked up again twice when he recalled the contribution of RSS and BJP leaders to the party’s rise in Gujarat, party leaders said.
Modi had earlier broken down after being elected leader of the parliamentary party following the BJP’s historic victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The event was telecast live.
“He (Modi) called for strengthening the party at its roots across the country,” parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar told reporters said after the meeting.
On Monday, the BJP retained Gujarat despite a spirited challenge by the Congress and wrested back Himachal Pradesh, victories attributed to Modi’s connect with the voters.
Modi also asked party leaders not to be disheartened by a decrease in the number of seats in Gujarat – from 115 in 2012 to 99 in 2017– as the increase in the party’s vote share in the state by 1.2% reflected the party’s popularity.
The Prime Minister said political pundits should conduct a study if any other party had won so many elections within three-and-a-half years of coming to power at the Centre.
It will show that the BJP has broken all records by forming governments in 19 states, something even former prime minister Indira Gandhi could not achieve for the Congress.
Modi asked party leaders and workers not to be misled by the opposition’s “disinformation campaign” on Gujarat and exhorted them to promote young leaders to strengthen the roots of the party.
There were many unsung heroes who contributed to the rise of the BJP in Gujarat, Modi said and asked party leaders to take pride in the fact that the party has won the sixth election in a row in the state.
Seeking to promote young leaders, Modi referred to his association with party president Amit Shah, who was present in the meeting, and spoke how he groomed the leader 14 years younger then him.
Modi wanted younger generations to be connected with party work, social work and for building the nation. He noted that the “millennial generation” will be eligible to vote from 2018.
In his address, Shah attacked the Congress over its claim of a moral victory in the Gujarat polls, saying it was a “laughable exercise” for the opposition party to see victory in defeat.
By getting more than 49 per cent of the votes, the BJP had received its highest share in the last many elections, including in 2012, when it won 116 seats against the 99 this time.
First Published: Dec 20, 2017 13:30 IST