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Those rejected by people are spreading lies and confusion: Prime Minister Modi

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah with the newly elected BJP National President Jagat Prakash Nadda at the party office, in New Delhi on Monday   -  Kamal Narang

Signals party’s intent to stay the course with Citizenship Amendment Act and NPR

At the formal election of JP Nadda as BJP President on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi signalled the ruling party’s determination to persist with the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Population Register (NPR) by branding the countrywide protests as an extension of the opposition parties and the ‘ecosystems’ spawned by them. The Prime Minister said the BJP has come centre-stage in Indian politics and is “here to stay” for a long time despite efforts by “those who have been rejected by people”to destabilise it.

Support for CAA

While not specifically mentioning the anti-CAA protests, he made the target of his attack apparent by repeating the BJP’s official line that ‘confusion and lies’ were being spread by people who have never supported the ruling party. But the popular support for the CAA is being not highlighted. The PM’s remarks came at a function to felicitate the formal election of JP Nadda as party president. He has been the Working President of the BJP since last June when the then President Amit Shah took over as Home Minister.

Although the BJP Constitution does not specifically prevent anyone in an official post from simultaneously holding the post of party President, Shah had himself requested to be relieved of his duties as BJP chief. Shah formally took over in July, 2014 and the tenure allowed him two consecutive terms of three years each. As such, he had more than one year left in his second tenure. It was then decided to anoint Nadda as his successor He is trusted by Shah and follows the line of command emanating from Modi and Shah.

Amid a burst of congratulatory messages from Union Ministers and former party presidents including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and chief ministers of BJP-ruled States, Nadda was elected unopposed as the BJP national President. He was the only leader in the fray following the nomination in which his candidature was endorsed by top party leaders.

The PM reminisced about his long association with Nadda from the time that he was in charge of Himachal Pradesh, Nadda’s home state. “We have spent years working together, taking scooter rides for party work,” said Modi. But he chose to focus on attacking the Opposition, underlining that their “problem is not that the BJP is making any mistake but that people continue to bless us”.

“Those rejected by the public in electoral politics and are no longer acceptable to the masses. They have been left with few weapons. Spreading confusion and lies is one of them... Then you let your ecosystem fuel it. This is what we have often been witnessing,” he said.

In a reference to the BJP’s nationwide pro-CAA drive, he said senior party leaders have been speaking at 10-15 programmes daily which are being attended by 50,000 to one lakh people. “But this will not find a mention anywhere,” he lamented, adding that “this game will continue and so will we.”

Some people have objections to the BJP’s ideals, and party workers should not hope for these critics to change their stand, Modi said, adding “This group has never been with us and will not be with us.”

“The BJP is not here for a short period, but will serve the country for a long time to come,” he added.

He said people’s faith in the BJP and his government has remained ‘unshaken’, and the BJP has returned to power with a bigger mandate in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls despite its rivals fighting with their full strength.

Published on January 20, 2020

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