Ahead of counting day, BJP hosts show of strength

The BJP meeting comes amid attack by opposition parties over reports of alleged tampering of electronic voting machines (EVMs).
NDA leaders felicitate Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a dinner at Ashoka Hotel, in New Delhi.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
NDA leaders felicitate Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a dinner at Ashoka Hotel, in New Delhi.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
Updated on May 21, 2019 11:46 PM IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday hosted a mega dinner for its allies in a bid to project confidence and a united front ahead of the Lok Sabha election results on May 23.

After the dinner, attended by 36 allies, a resolution was passed that said by 2022, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will “endeavour to fulfil the dreams” of freedom fighters and “give shape to the strong, prosperous, developed and inclusive India that they dreamt of.”

“The NDA stands as a tall bulwark against the vote bank politics and old school political thinking of the opposition, whose 20th century politics has not cut ice with the young voters of the of the 21st century,” read the resolution moved by Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan adopted at the end of the meet.

According to people aware of developments, Modi expressed concern over the Opposition’s complaints about electronic voting machines (EVM) and said efforts were being made to undermine the Election Commission. He tweeted, “Our alliance represents India’s diversity and our agenda is India’s progress. We are best suited to address regional aspirations and enhance national progress.” Union home minister Rajnath Singh said, “NDA is an alliance of India’s dreams and aspirations. The PM has taken historical decisions and for fulfilling regional aspirations, the NDA has become a principal pillar.” The home minister said three allies not in attendance – Tiwa Jatiya Oikya Manch, Mizo National Front and United Democratic Party -- had sent their support in writing. Parkash Singh Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Uddhav Thackeray of the Shiv Sena, O Pannerselvam of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam were among the NDA leaders in attendance.

Earlier in the day, Modi met several Union ministers as well as senior members of the allies at a meeting hosted by party president Amit Shah at the BJP headquarters. He compared his Lok Sabha campaign to a “pilgrimage”. According to a functionary aware of developments, the PM said this election stood out from other polls. “I have seen many elections but this one was beyond politics. The public was fighting them. I have campaigned in assembly elections and undertaken political tours for the party in different elections. When I toured during these polls, it seemed that I was on a pilgrimage,” the PM was quoted as saying by PTI. “I congratulate Team Modi Sarkar for their hard work and remarkable achievements in the last 5 years,” party chief Amit Shah tweeted.


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