BJP National Convention 2019: Amit Shah’s speech

Salient points of speech of BJP National President Amit Shah at the BJP National Convention at Ramlila Ground, New Delhi

In the last week alone, the government of Narendra Modi ji has taken two major decisions that have massive implications for future. The first of to these two decisions was providing 10% reservation for the poor from the upper castes in education and jobs.  Prime Minister has got it cleared in the Cabinet and parliament in a manner of less than one week to fulfill the aspirations of crored of upper caste youth in this country. In my view, the 124th amendment to the Constitution giving reservation to the upper caste youth is one of the most significant amendments to the constitution since it was framed.

The second major decision of the government under the leadership of Narendra Modi ji is simplification of the GST and the relief given to the small traders and manufacturers. As per this major decision, small traders and manufacturers with turnover upto Rs.40 lakh are exempt from registration under GST. Likewise, the turnover limit for coverage under the composite scheme has been increased from Rs.1 crore to Rs.1.5 crore.

He called upon the entire parliamentary board of the Bharatiya Janata Party to join him in congratulating and complimenting the prime minister for the truly historic decisions in the last one week.

Describing Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi as the most popular Prime Minister since independence Shri Amit Shah exhorted the delegates attending the national convention to take a resolve and vow to re-elect the Prime Minister with a bigger mandate in 2019. Shri Amit Shah stated that the national convention was to strengthen our resolve to usher in New India as envisioned by Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Shri Amit Shah said that in a tribute to Swami Vivekananda during his Jayanti, which will be celebrated on January 12, the BJP would implement the vision of Swami Vivekananda. He said that the party would celebrate the party’s victory in 2019 which also happens to be 150th year of Gandhiji’s birth and 500th year of Guru Nanak.

Recalling the contributions of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee the BJP President stated the this is the first national convention of the BJP when Atal ji is not alive. Atalji provided leadership to the BJP from the Jan Sangh days and recalled how Atal-Advani duo strived to take the BJP to every corner of the country and in establishing it as a national party. Though there is a vacuum after the demise of Atal ji he would always remain with the people and the party as it pursues his goals.

Highlighting the significance of Ramlila Maidan as a venue where the party had resolved to secure a win in 2014 and the venue where the first rally to end the undemocratic Indira Raj after the imposition of emergency, Shri Amit Shah stated that 2019 would also become a significant milestone at the venue for securing outright majority for the BJP.

Shri Amit Shah emphatically stated that a victory in 2019 for the BJP is also important for 50 crore poor people of this country,  for the youth and for women who have suffered neglect under previous Congress dispensations and have not had access to even basic needs. For over 70 years people waited for a leader who would Make India great and Shri Narendra Modi had arrived to fulfill that desire.

Highlighting that the so-called Opposition Alliance has neither a leader nor any positive agenda, he said that the 2019 electoral battle will have an impact that would last for centuries. Underscoring the importance of 2019 battle, Shri Shah drew a parallel with the Great Maratha rulers in pre-British era who won 134 battles but a defeat in Panipat third battle had brought in the British Raj which subjugated India for 200 years.

Recalling the 2014 verdict the BJP national president said the people of this country have given an outright majority to a government after a gap of 30 years. He further stated the BJP was in power in only 6 States when the party secured a majority in 2014 while at present the party is in power in 16 States. Further, he said, the membership of the BJP has risen from 2.4 crores in 2014 to 11 crores at present. Once the party scores a victory in 2019 the party would expand its influence and become a dominant party even in the south of India going as far as Kerala, he added.

Stating the there is no leader to rival the popularity of prime minister Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Shah said that the BJP’s victory in 2019 was certain as the people of the country are with the BJP under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi. Highlighting the desperation of the so-called grand alliance the BJP President said that the politics is not just arithmetic or physics but produces chemical reactions. Referring to the alliance between Samajwadi Party and Congress party in 2017 UP assembly polls , the BJP President stated that the BJP had secured a massive mandate despite that alliance. He exuded confidence that the BJP would secure over 50% vote and would go on to win at least 74 scenes in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Taking a dig at rival political parties that are feeling compelled to come together despite their known rivalries owing to the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP President said that these attempts would fail.

Reeling out statistics as to how poverty and deprivation remained unaddressed despite the Congress having ruled India for 55 years the BJP President stated howin the last 4.5 years 6 crore women have received free LPG connections , 9 crore households have received a toilet , 2.5 Crore houses have received electricity, 2.5 crore households received free housing under Awas Yojana. Describing Ayushman Bharat as the world’s largest Health Insurance programme, the BJP President said that 50 crore people of the country who could not afford Healthcare are receiving Rs 5 lakh health insurance cover for hospitalization and for other expenses as well.

Highlighting significant improvement in the overall national security scenario, Shri Shah attributed improvements to the security doctrine followed by the Modi government which gave freehand to the armed forces to retaliate every act of provocation and infiltration with a heavy response. Naxalism has also been curbed and the problem has nearly ended, he said. The BJP government had given respect to the armed  forces by fulfilling a long standing demand of the armed forces for One Rank One Pension (OROP), he added.

Unlike the week-kneed response of the Manmohan Singh government in similar situations, our government carried out retaliatory surgical strikes after 16 of our sleeping soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack in Uri, he said. The whole world has started looking at us differently and with more respect after the surgical strikes, he added.

Demanding that the Congress party must make its stand clear on the National Register for Citizens (NRC), Shri Shah said that many opposition parties in Parliament shed tears for illegal immigrants who pose a threat to India’s security. Describing how this problem is eating away our resources like termites, he castigated them for vote bank politics.

Highlighting how India’s image and prestige has enhanced over the last 4.5 years under Modi government, Shri Shah recalled that Shri Narendra Modi was asked to inaugurate Davos summit though leaders from India never received such honour in the past. He also noted as major achievements the International Yoga Day, UN Champion of the Earth award for the PM Modi and India’s contribution to the deliberations in Paris Climate Summit.

Lambasting the corrupt rule of the Congress party before 2014 which looted Rs.12 lakh crore in various scandals, the BJP President listed various initiatives of Narendra Modi government like the SIT against black money, framing of rules under the benami act, fugitives act demonetisation etc to launch a big attack against black money. By implementing direct benefit transfer (DBT) under various schemes, the BJP government has plugged leakages and insured savings to the tune of Rs.80000 crore, he added.

Describing the Narendra Modi government as a Spotless government, the BJP president stated that the party cadres can hold their heads high for a government of total integrity. Highlighting how the Congress Party continues to indulge in lies and calumny even after the Supreme Court found absolutely no merit in the allegations being made in Rafale procurement and no need for any investigations. Shri Amit Shah has congratulated and complimented finance minister Shri Arun Jaitley and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for exposing lies of Rahul Gandhi and Congress Party during the parliamentary debates on the issue. Stating that the Congress Party is getting desperate as the party’s image is tarnished after the revelations by “Mama Michel” and Uncle Quattrocchi. Scare of a big defeat and the immaculate image of the government have made a desperate Congress to resort to lies and Propaganda, Shri Shah revealed.

Shri Amit Shah said that the likes of Vijay Mallya, Mehul Choksi , Nirav Modi who escaped India were in partnership with the Congress Party which allowed them to loot public money and that they would never have fled India had the Congress been in power. Because “chaukidar is holding everyone by the neck, they felt compelled to flee. Modi ji’s government will ensure that they return to India and payback everything they looted from this country with the Congress party’s collusion and help.

Source – 11 January 2019/ New Delhi

BJP set for a clear majority in Uttar Pradesh: Amit Shah

BJP is set for a clear majority in Uttar Pradesh : Amit Shah 

BJP national president Amit Shah takes the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election as seriously as the 2014 Lok Sabha election. UP is his obsession — he began scripting his poll strategy in June 2016 when he travelled across the state and met hundreds of aspirants. Over the last 12 months, not a single day has gone by when he hasn’t worked on his “UP file.” He believes the BJP is set for a clear majority — even if not many in his party agree. Excerpts of the interview ……..

BJP National President Amit Shah
                BJP National President Amit Shah

Are you hoping to repeat in 2017 the social engineering you created in Uttar Pradesh in 2014 Lok Sabha elections? Are you trying to consolidate it?

That consolidation process is over. We have done it through the Modi government’s projects for poor, women, exploited and backward classes. Demonetisation consolidated it even more. This election in UP will certify it.

In Gujarat, Narendra Modi was a Hindu poster-boy; then he became hero of the Gujarati middle class. Now Modi talks about the poor when the Opposition attacks him on demonetisation. Modi uses the language of Indira Gandhi when she said “Main kehti hoon garibi hatao, woh kehte hain Indira hatao.”

Indira Gandhi gave the slogan but didn’t remove poverty. We work on the ground with passion and we will. Living in Delhi, you can’t imagine what a poor woman goes through without a toilet in her house, what is life like without power or without cooking gas or what difference it makes to the family without any bank account. The Modi government has taken steps in these four sectors and shown concrete results. First time after independence, Modi government has gone to villages (under Ujjwala scheme) to distribute LPG to 2 crore BPL card holders.

If they have jobs, people will buy gas and get toilets. Where are the jobs?

Why do you assume the BJP government, under Modi’s leadership is just for five years? The BJP government has got a long tenure. People want the Modi government for a long time to come. They want the leadership of Modi. And my question to you is: until jobs are generated, should we not build toilets, provide cooking gas?

Toilets and gas cylinders are obvious needs.

Why don’t you ask someone why until today these things are not provided? Do you agree or not that providing toilets, power and gas is a good thing?

But it’s not enough.

If it is not a big achievement then why couldn’t any government deliver on this in the last 70 years? Kar nahi payi kyonki na niti thi, na neeyat thi. We have policy and intention, both. No economy in the world can give jobs to 50 crore people. Where will these forces work? Who will be their employers? We have opened up the new horizon of self-employment for 4 crore people. For a country with a population of 120 crore, self-employment is the best option. It is impossible to have 120 crore jobs.

When Modi and someone like you shifted to Delhi, the expectation was that businesses will have a smoother run. To many, it’s difficult to accept that when Modi is in Delhi, country’s growth rate hasn’t touched even 7.5%.

We will win UP and make UP grow above 10% and country will, also, get higher growth rate due to UP. This is why it’s very important to win UP. Once we win UP, after March, you will see change in India’s growth rate.

How will UP impact the Central government?

In UP, once a non-corrupt government is formed, we will see that the government works tirelessly to remove poverty in UP and that would help India only. Our victory in UP will be a great boon to Indian growth.

Shah at a rally for BJP candidate Garima Singh in Amethi. (Source: PTI photo)That also means if you lose UP election, it will have an impact, too.

I don’t think at all that we will lose in UP. And how can it get worse than what it is now? We are not in power in the state today.

In UP, since last June, you are spreading Shatranj (chess board) 

It’s not fine to use phrase, spreading shatranj. I was working hard to strengthen my organisation in UP.

What is this strategy that has ended up pitting a Prime Minister against a Chief Minister?

Door, door tak (far and wide)…it’s not PM versus CM. You may find it so because you have seen a PM for 10 years whose rallies people didn’t throng to. That’s why you are unable to digest a PM who is helping in, campaigning in state election. This country has seen many PMs. From Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi to Atalji. They took their party amongst people. Election is festival of democracy. It is responsibility of PM to talk to people. And why not? He is our party’s supreme leader. (sarvochch neta)

But the PM’s office carries certain dignity. He has national security, diplomacy and defence to look at. Here PM goes to Barabanki and Lakhimpur Kheri to criticise a Chief Minister.

Those national areas are being handled fine. Look, any Prime Minister who works for 7-8 hours, he can’t do this. The Prime Minister who works for 21 hours daily — he can manage, both very well. PM Modi is balancing both. It is his duty to see that UP gets good governance and faster development.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an election campaign rally at Barabanki district on Thursday. (Source: PTI Photo)So it means the Prime Minister will always remain in campaign mode?

It is the PM’s prime duty to keep going back to people and be with them. With the help of one party, he becomes a PM. Government is of one party. And PM is the topmost leader of that party. That’s why he should campaign if and when needed.

Last year, in an event at Ashoka hotel, you told the media that BJP’s competition in UP is with Samajwadi Party. Last week in Lucknow, you are talking of a fight with BSP in first few phases. This has created confusion in your cadre.

There is no confusion. Rajniti prawahi hoti hai. (Politics is a dynamic process). The day SP gave away its 103 seats to Congress, it got weak. The Congress doesn’t have cadre in those seats. SP workers are not accepting or working for Congress candidates. So the ground situation has changed. By the way, even last year, I said that all over we have fight with SP but in western UP, we are in fight with BSP.

Who is your closest competition now?

Now, SP has caved in so we are much ahead of both of them. Their fight is for second and third position.

So BSP is your closest competitor?

Difficult to assess but in first and second phases we were fighting BSP.

You won big in 2014 which must have taken care of many insecurities. Your party gave a slogan like sab ka saath, sab ka vikas. But still not one ticket to a Muslim leader. Why?

We don’t see voters as Hindus and Muslims. I don’t believe in dividing people into categories.

But you said all castes and communities should be well-represented in the power set-up. There is no Muslim representative in Lok Sabha from UP.

It is people who elect our representatives. The SP-Congress alliance and the BSP have given a disproportionate number of tickets to Muslims. When you talk of polarization, should you not be asking them why they have given disproportionate representation to a community?

We saw in many rallies that on the issue of slaughter-houses, BJP is getting a huge response. Doesn’t a popular issue come with its cost? Of the 1623 registered slaughter-houses, many are registered in Maharashtra. You know that the employment-oriented leather industry is inter-connected with animal hide. What kind of an economic loss will shutting down slaughter-houses create?

Not true. There won’t be any economic loss. By saving animals, we will produce more milk and dairy products. Animals do die in the natural process. Then, their hide is useful. Why are you not thinking of the situation in drought? In the Ganga and Yamuna river beds, if farmers have two animals, he can survive difficult days. They won’t die of hunger if animals are at home. In UP, lots of misery is due to the fact that milk-producing animals have been slaughtered mercilessly.

This promise in manifesto, is it economic wisdom or religious sentiment?

What is religious about it? The owners of mechanical slaughter houses are forcibly taking animals to keep running their factories. They steal animals. This is purely economic issue linked to farmers.

You are 51 years old. You got success quite early in life. But your approach to politics is usually very conservative. A relatively young president of the party releases a manifesto which talks about an “anti-Romeo squad.”

I have a request for you. Please go to Meerut. Stay there for one year in Meerut Cant area. After a year, I will see how modern you have remained. Parents in many UP cities keep flats on rent in Delhi at un-affordable cost and suffer so much. This is real law-and-order problem. Don’t see it otherwise. What did SP government do? Why no such squad was formed to curb the menace? Security is responsibility of government. You can’t give a free hand to protect a particular vote bank. This can’t go on.

Do you mean Muslim vote bank?

It’s not Hindu-Muslim issue. Anti-Romeo squad is for those who trouble young girls. Whoever they may be.

Once again, you are fighting elections trying to use Modi’s image.

It’s not like that. The election is fought on many issues. But Modi is our topmost leader. The BJP is gaining in a big way from his work, from the BJP government and from people’s strong feelings for Modi.

This time, after tickets were distributed, the mood within the party changed. Many people were dissatisfied.

When they see the party is winning, there will be more heartburn over not getting tickets. There was resentment for two to three days because on each seats there were 35 to 70 applicants and only one was given ticket. But now chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai, our cadres and leaders have plunged into the campaign.

Your audio talking to Jat community leaders went viral. You sounded low. Have Jats deserted BJP?

Wait for the result. As for my tone, let me explain. When I am asking for votes, I can’t talk like a bully. Being president of the political party, I beg for votes from anybody and everybody and you have to request softly. I was talking of incorrect propaganda against BJP because Haryana’s Jat agitation is represented wrongly among Jats of Western UP.

When you fly across UP, what issue dominates your mind?

UP is full of infinite possibilities. Sheelaji, I come from the state where water level has gone down 1200 feet. Here you get water if you dig 50 feet. Here I see with wonder hundreds of kilometres of fertile land. I believe, in this world, UP’s youth is the brightest lot. We had BIMARU states. Now, only U of BIMARU is lagging behind. If BJP gets UP, we will show 10% actual growth in first five years. That’s our promise.

Some people have observed that in Bihar you talked about “firecrackers in Pakistan” and all that. But this time your speeches are more restrained. The charge is that BJP is going for covert Hindutva.

I don’t do politics covertly. I do it with guts. (danke ki chot per karta hun.) My party doesn’t have any policy that needs to be kept secret. From 1950 to 2016, we have same policy and same direction.

In Western UP you raised certain issues that led to polarisation.

We never did it. If, we speak about law and order issue you are making it communal.

You are talking of riots.

In UP, 500 riots happened in the last five years and should we not utter a word? The riots are strictly law and order issue. It’s not a communal issue.

If you are worried about law and order and talk of Muzaffarnagar riots, in the same breath, you need to talk with sensitivity about those displaced Muslims who are living a life of misery in relief camps.

See, this is my point. I haven’t talked about, even, Hindus. I am not talking about Hindus and Muslims. I am talking about rioters. In no speech, I have uttered the word Hindu or Muslims. I talk of Dangai (rioters). I say that we should have a government that can stop riots.

In UP, you had a suitable CM candidate in Rajnath Singh. He is second-most powerful man in the government. If he is fit to be Home Minister, surely he can be a good CM candidate. He is a former CM, too.

This is privilege of party’s parliamentary board. Journalists should give space to us.

Is he unwilling or the party doesn’t want him?

Don’t get into this issue. As soon as we win UP, our legislative board and parliamentary party will jointly select a BJP CM.

Demonetisation has created havoc in the society. The queues outside the ATMs have made you unpopular.

Wait a minute, please. I didn’t know you will be here, right? (Jagdishpur, near Amethi) Let me take out our latest confidential survey done for Phase 3. Yesterday, we asked voters how do they perceive Narendra Modi’s important work. We asked them to prioritise. In this survey, 26% people said demonetization is a big achievement and 31% appreciated Ujjwala gas project. In every survey, we get support for Notebandi. Aap log hawa main hai. On TV you see footage outside banks and pass judgment. We work on the ground. In the first phase, 32% gave us thumbs up for notebandi. I want Opposition parties to make demonetisation election issue.

Some poor people are day-dreaming that they will get some reward by supporting notebandi. The poor are distressed.

Nobody can fool the poor of India. He knows well what’s good for him. There is no end to this discussion. When results will come, you will know that UP people have supported notebandi.

In New Delhi, there is debate about the expanding power of BJP. Just in case BJP wins UP, then too much power can make any government arrogant. Look at what’s happening in Mumbai. Your treatment of Shiv Sena is a case study.

We have fought election separately four times before. We have different assessments of our respective strengths. That’s the fundamental issue. We are not arrogant and don’t want to be. We (Sena and BJP) are together in the government and we will remain together. Thackeray is criticizing us because it’s election time. BJP leaders are also talking against Sena.

In Una, Dalit atrocities happened; before that, the Rohith Vemula case hit the BJP’s image because you were questioning his caste. Will these not impact UP?

After UP results, come and count votes for the BJP in booths of Dalit areas.

Even during the Modi wave in 2014, the BSP got 19% of votes.

2014 se is baar hamari laher bahut badi hai. (This time, the wave in favour of BJP is stronger than it was in 2014).

Courtesy- The Indian Express, Written by Sheela Bhatt | New Delhi | February 20, 2017