Only BJP and Communist parties have internal democracy: Amit Shah

Bhubaneswar: BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday said internal democracy exists only in the BJP and Communist parties and not in Congress or others including BJD headed by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as they follow dynastic politics.

“There have been about 1650 political parties in the country since Independence. But, only the BJP and Communist parties have internal democracy which is not found anywhere else including the Congress and BJD,” Shah said addressing a meeting with intellectuals here.

Maintaining that dynastic politics dominated most parties including the Congress, the BJP president asked the gathering as to who will be the president of the oldest party of India after Sonia Gandhi and said the answer was obvious.

“I and all of you know who will take over the Congress after Sonia Gandhi. We also know that BJD is such a party where one has to belong to Biju Parivar to take over the reins of the party in Odisha,” Shah, who began his 3-day Odisha visit to galvanise the BJP workers in the state, said.

“Is there any dearth of talent or merit in Congress and BJD? Though there are many talented people in these parties, they are sidelined because they do not come from any particular political dynasty.

“However, a tea-seller could become the prime minister of India and a booth-level worker like me could become the president of BJP, the world’s biggest political party having 11 crore members,” Shah said.

To buttress his point, Shah asked whether anyone from the audience could name the next BJP chief.

“This is not possible because there is internal democracy in the BJP. The leaders are chosen on the basis of merit and not their family,” Shah said, adding the BJP was the only party which had its ideologies and policies rooted in the cultural heritage of India.

He said Congress once ruled from panchayat to Parliament, but it later failed the people of India.

Shah claimed the BJP would win 120 of the 147 Assembly seats in the next polls in Odisha as “people are disillusioned with the dynastic rule in the state”.

On Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s doubt over BJP winning so many seats, the BJP chief said, “Let Naveenji learn mathematics .. The poll outcome and number of seats will be known the day votes are counted.”

Hitting out at the Naveen Patnaik government, Shah said the “state is plagued by rampant corruption”, and people have been deprived of proper electricity and drinking water supply in the last 17 years of BJD rule.

The irony is the chief minister has failed to learn Odia in such a long period, he said.

As per 14th Finance Commission recommendation, Odisha had received around Rs 2.11 lakh crore from the NDA government at the Centre, while under the previous UPA rule it had got only Rs 79,000 crore, he said.

“If Narendra Modi can be described as a power house, Naveenji may be compared to a damaged transformer,” he said, adding the people of Odisha now want a political change after having given several opportunities to the Congress and BJD to govern.

“Now they have got a chance to try the BJP and taste good governance,” Shah said.