Calling the INDIA bloc an “alliance of dynasties”, Shah likens 2024 poll contest to Mahabharata war

Comparing the BJP-led NDA and the “INDI alliance” to the epic’s Pandavas and Kauravas, Mr. Shah says voters must decide which camp they want; says PM has brought national security and made India a friend of the world

Updated - February 18, 2024 08:40 pm IST

Published - February 18, 2024 12:55 pm IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President JP Nadda also present at the BJP meet.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President JP Nadda also present at the BJP meet. | Photo Credit: ANI

Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday likened the upcoming Lok Sabha polls to the epic war of the Mahabharata. Delineating the contours of the contest, he asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was leading the BJP-led camp working for the country’s development, while the “INDI alliance” under the Congress was full of dynastic parties practising the politics of appeasement and corruption.

He was speaking on the final day of the BJP’s two-day national convention meet being held in New Delhi, on the resolution “BJP: Desh ki aasha, vipaksha ki hatasha (BJP: Country’s hope, opposition’s despair)“ moved by him.

“Just as in the Mahabharata war there were two camps, the Kauravas and Pandavas, similarly today there are two camps ahead of the elections,” Mr. Shah said. “The INDI alliance is an alliance of all dynastic parties, which nurture the politics of dynasticism, corruption, appeasement, while the BJP-led NDA is an alliance of parties which follows the principles of the nation,” he said.

“People of the country will have to decide which of the two camps they want to give mandate to this time,” he said.

Politics of dynasticism

The Opposition, Mr. Shah said, is full of “2G, 3G, and 4G” parties, a reference to the second, third, and fourth generation of families running these parties. “The Congress, which leads the INDI alliance ended the spirit of democracy with corruption, dynasticism and appeasement so that people’s mandate do not come independently,” he said.

In a fierce attack against the Congress, he said that when in power, the party had tried to subvert constitutional institutions, including the judiciary, referring to the 1973 appointment of Justice A.N. Ray as Chief Justice of India, superceding three senior judges.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought the politics of development to centre stage by ending the Opposition parties’ politics of dynasticism, corruption, appeasement, and caste, the Home Minister said.

PM’s focus on development

He noted that Mr. Modi had ended the old developmental conundrums, which asserted that both rural and urban India cannot be developed at the same time, or that a nation’s security and diplomatic policy cannot be complementary. “Prime Minister Modi has not only secured the boundaries of the nation but also helped India emerge as a Vishwa Mitra [or friend to the world],” he said.

Mr. Shah described Mr. Modi as a candle which removes the darkness while burning itself, as he lauded his dedication, hard work, and commitment to the country’s progress.

“While Prime Minister Modi thinks of the poor and the country’s development, INDIA bloc leaders think of making their children Prime Minister and Chief Ministers,” he said, referring to Opposition leaders Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, and M.K. Stalin, among others.

All the family “princes” have come together against the Prime Minister, as they think only someone from a powerful family can occupy the top position, Mr. Shah said, amid slogans in support of Mr. Modi. “If family-run politics existed in the BJP, then the son of a tea-seller would not have become the country’s Prime Minister,” he asserted.

Congress’ appeasement agenda

Opposition parties, he said, are in denial mode, and oppose everything for the sake of it, be it the repeal of Article 370, the ban on triple talaq, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or the construction of the new Parliament building.

He also lashed out at the Congress for turning down the invitation to attend the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, blaming it on appeasement politics.

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