‘Victory not mine, but of people desperate for honesty’: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose to attribute the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) victory on Thursday to the people of the country instead of taking credit for what he termed a win “memorable in world history”.
Delivering a rousing speech at the BJP headquarters that was teeming with loyalists, mediapersons and security personnel, Modi likened himself to a fakir (ascetic), even as the party chose to crown him as the leader of the fiercely fought election. “This election was not fought by leaders but by common people. The Opposition did not understand me then but today people proved me right,” he said.
Party leaders asserted that the verdict was an acknowledgement of Modi’s leadership and performance, but the PM said the mandate was to build a new India and promised to devote “every moment” of his time and “every fibre” of his being to the people of India.
“People are chanting ‘Modi, Modi’. But this is not a victory for Modi, it is the victory of the people who are desperate for honesty in the system,” he said.
The victory, he said, belonged to the toiling farmers who struggle to feed the nation, the poor who do not have proper houses to live in and the middle class that follows rules and pays taxes.
Hitting out at political rivals who had colluded to bank on caste arithmetic to keep the BJP out, Modi said the country would from now on have only two castes -- the poor and those who want to alleviate poverty.
In what was perceived as a message to party colleagues, Modi said that all would have to abide by the Constitution which mandates that a majority government has to be run through consensus. He assured the country that, going forward, his policies would not be coloured by bad intent or design.
BJP president Amit Shah, who dubbed the victory “historic”, hit out at the Congress, saying it had been dealt a resounding defeat, getting no seats in 17 states. He said the results, especially in Uttar Pradesh, would mark the end of the party.