National

Election victory a mandate for development plank, says Modi

The National Democratic Alliance’s victory in the elections is a mandate for its development agenda, laying the foundation for a new era in Indian politics, BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said at a rally in Ahmedabad on Friday.

“In this election the majority has voted for the development agenda. It was a belief in India that you cannot win election on the development plank. You have to give out doles. You have to do vote bank politics. But now you have a large section of people who say that development is the solution to all problems. This election will be memorable because the people rose above caste divisions. Voters abandoned casteist mindset and set a new trend. Power and position come and go. This election has laid the foundation for a modern India,” Mr. Modi said.

He attacked his critics for terming his development model a bubble.

“Even they have been compelled to talk about development, even it is thorough criticism. My critics did not realise that I am such a magician, that I willy-nilly made them talk on the development issue. Vested interest groups who sought to belittle me by speaking negatively of the development in Gujarat also had to focus on development. Usually, the ruling party sets the agenda in an election. For the first time the BJP set the agenda and the Congress did not understand whether to respond or react to it,” Mr. Modi said.

Dismissing the view of anti-incumbency in this election, Mr. Modi said an “anti-establishment” sentiment arose when there was an establishment. “In the last five years, one did not feel the existence of any establishment. There was a vacuum period. Amid a situation of district a ray of hope has dawned. Political analysts will have to leave aside the old tools of analysis,” Mr. Modi said.

He compared the BJP’s thumping victory to the awakening brought about by Mahatma Gandhi during the Independence struggle.

“Gandhiji turned freedom into a public movement. Not all had to go to the gallows, not all had to go to jail. He created a sentiment that all work was towards the freedom struggle. If the country leadership had made development a public movement after independence then India’s 125 crore citizens would have made progress,” he said.

Urging the people to look ahead forgetting he underscored the need to turn Indian citizens into a corps of “development soldiers”.

“Development is not a government programme. It has to be the public agenda. India got swaraj in 1947, but she pined for surajya [good governance]. Those who ran away from the development agenda will accept it in future,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 11:50:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/election-victory-a-mandate-for-development-plank-says-modi/article6017657.ece

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