Shah sounds poll bugle, likens 2019 LS polls to third Battle of Panipat at BJP’s NC meet

New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah on Friday sounded the poll bugle at the party’s National Council (NC) meet here, saying that the coming Lok Sabha elections in 2019 would be like the “decisive” third Battle of Panipat.

Shah, while addressing the National Council meeting of the BJP at the Ram Lila Ground, recalled the Marathas had won 131 battles but lost one decisive battle at Panipat, which led to 200 years of the colonial slavery.

“2019 year’s (Lok Sabha elections) will be a decisive contest like the third Battle of Panipat. The Marathas had won 131 battles, but lost one decisive battle (third Battle of Panipat), which led to 200 years of colonial slavery,” Shah said.

The Third Battle of Panipat was fought on January 14, 1761, between the Marathas and forces of the Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali, in which he won.

Taking a dig at the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance), Shah asserted that the coming Lok Sabha elections is a battle between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and an alliance “without any face.” “Ours is the first government that has an absolute majority after 30 years,” he said, adding the General Elections are a battle between two ideologies.

“This election will be fought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and an alliance without a face. This is the first government with an absolute majority after 30 years of coalition governments. The Lok Sabha polls will be fought on the basis of two ideologies,” he said.

“The BJP stands for cultural nationalism and the poor, while the Opposition merely wants power,” said the BJP chief.

Dismissing the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh as a “huge lie,” Shah expressed confidence that the BJP would win 74 Lok Sabha seats out of 80 which are at stake in Uttar Pradesh.

“In Uttar Pradesh in 2014 elections, we defeated the SP-Congress alliance. I am in constant touch with the state unit and I can confidently say that the number of seats we win this time can be 74,” the BJP chief remarked.

Further taking a jibe at the proposed Grand Alliance, Shah said that those parties who chided each other have come together to defeat the BJP-led Central government, despite the Opposition knows that “such a thing is not possible.”

Hitting out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi over the Rafale deal, the BJP president said that the former was making corruption allegations without any proof.

Talking about the Ram Temple, Shah reiterated that the BJP government is committed to building a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.

“BJP wants Ram Temple to be constructed at the earliest. We are trying in the Supreme Court that the case reaches its conclusion but the Congress here is also trying to create obstacles,” he said.

Accusing the Congress of harbouring “infiltrators,” Shah raised the issue of National Register of Citizens (NRC). “Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal led BJP government in Assam began the NRC process.

About 40 lakhs infiltrators have been marked, but Rahul Gandhi and his company made a ruckus over it in the Rajya Sabha and are saying, ‘where will they go? How will they stay and what food they will get.”

Referring to the multi-crore PNB scam accused Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi, Shah said that the ‘Chowkidar’ (Prime Minister Modi) would not spare any thief, adding that the country has effective laws to bring them back.

Lauding the BJP-led Central government for implementing the one-rank, one-pension scheme (OROP) and launching surgical strikes, Shah said that the Modi government changed the entire world’s perspective about India.

“There is no leader as popular as Narendra Modi in the entire world,” he added.

Talking about GST, the BJP president said, “Traders who accept composition plan with a turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore will have to pay only one per cent tax. This is a big decision for millions of small businessmen and small industries. In every GST Council meeting, efforts are being discussed to reduce the price of goods and simplify GST.”

Speaking about the country’s achievements, Shah said, “In the last four and a half years, nine crore toilets were constructed. Every citizen will get a house by 2022. We are working towards that. We have provided six crore gas connections as well.”

Over 10,000 delegates of the BJP are attending the National Council meeting, which will culminate on Saturday with Prime Minister Modi’s address.