India on track to be Congress-mukt, says Ram Madhav’

May 21, 2018 09:53 pm | Updated May 22, 2018 02:52 pm IST - Washington

The BJP’s abortive bid to come to power in Karnataka may not be the end of the story, party general secretary Ram Madhav indicated to an audience of Indian Americans on Sunday. Speaking at an event organised by the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) to mark the completion of four years of the Narendra Modi government, the Sangh Parivar ideologue said the journey towards a “Congress mukt” India was on track despite the setback.

“We are today not only the ruling party at the national level but in 21 States of India. We narrowly missed the 22nd State (in Karnataka). It should rightfully belong to us…” Mr. Madhav said. “People voted for Mukti from Congress,” the BJP leader said, accusing the Congress of making a “back-door entry” to power.

“Congress is the party of the past. It is (now) ready to play second fiddle to a local party. They are happy, as long as they are able to keep BJP out (of power) for at least three months. BJP is the present of India and BJP is going to be the future of India,” Mr. Madhav said. “All States will be under BJP rule one day.”

Defending the Modi government’s four year track record on economy, diplomacy, job creation and domestic security and peace, Mr, Madhav said the BJP was on its way to retaining power in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

“If the opposition charges against the BJP that there are job losses in India were true, there would be street riots in India and nobody would be voting for us. India has seen the most peaceful period in the last four years and we are winning election after election,” the BJP leader said.

Rebutting charges of the BJP having fomented communalism, Mr. Madhav said the Muslim majority State of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Christian-majority State of Nagaland were both under BJP rule. “The Sikh majority State of Punjab was with us until a year ago,” he said.

In a lighter vein, Mr. Madhav said the BJP’s continuing rise was ensured by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. “As long we have three leaders, Narendra Modi-ji, Amit Shah-ji and Rahul Gandhi-ji, the BJP will be on the rise,” he said.

Outreach to Sikhs

The BJP leader addressed two gatherings of Sikhs over the weekend, at a gala organized by Sikhs of America and at a gurudwara in Maryland. Sikhs for America is founded by Jesse Singh, who ran the Sikhs for Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Singh had also said the Sikh prayer during the inaugural prayer service for President Donald Trump.

Mr. Madhav told The Hindu that he sought to allay the “misunderstanding among some Sikhs about the RSS, the BJP etc,” and the community’s support for the Modi government’s initiatives.

“I tried to allay those fears. We have the highest regard for Sikhism as a religion, Sikhs as a community,” he said.

The BJP leader said a minuscule section of the community in America was taking anti-India posturing but the large majority stood with India. “The Modi government is fully committed to addressing all the grievances of the Sikh community, be it bringing to justice the perpetuators of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots or ending the black list of community members who face problems in getting Indian visas.” he said.

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