Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the BJP's victory in four out of the five States, which went to Assembly polls and results for which were announced on Thursday, reflected the people's faith in the party's pro-poor agenda and governance agenda, and was an outright rejection of casteism and dynasty politics.
Significantly, he also said that just as done experts claimed that Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory in U.P. in 2017 paved the way for the victory in 2019, he was sure that results of the 2022 set of polls would be seen as having made the path of victory in 2024 clear.
He was addressing BJP workers at the party's headquarters on Thursday after the results saw it return to power in all four States — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa (where the party is at 20 seats and just on the halfway mark) — where it was in government earlier.
A common thread
"We have got support from all corners of the country, from the north and from the north-east as well, and the common thread in all this is that the people have chosen the work of the double engine governments in the Centre and States, and pro poor development," he said. He especially thanked first time voters and women for extending their support to the BJP. "We are fortunate that our mothers, sisters and daughters have given us fulsome support," he said.
"People, especially of Uttar Pradesh, have often been weighed only in the scale of casteism by many political parties, but the people have repeatedly shown that they vote for a government that works and delivers to the poor and whose efforts are made in honesty and integrity," he said.
He cautioned that there were certain political parties and their "ecosystems" who were making efforts to undermine institutions that were fighting against corruption. "Don't you think corruption should be probed and punished? These people first commit scams of 1000s of crores, then block probes and undermine the integrity of institutions probing these corruption cases," he said.
‘A very difficult time’
Referring to global conditions he said that the current set of Assembly polls had taken place at a very difficult time for the world, with the "once in a century pandemic" and war (between Ukraine and Russia). Without naming the countries, Mr. Modi said that India wanted talks, and peace to be restored, and added that it had trade and security ties with both the countries.
"The once in a century pandemic and and now war has disrupted supply chains across the world, prices of palm oil, energy, coal and fertilizers is going up. In this context, if you see this year's Budget, we get confidence that we are on the path to aatmanirbharta [self reliance]. Even in these uncertain times, people have shown their far sightedness in voting for stable governments. It demonstrates how much democracy is ingrained in the common man," he said.
"I salute this spirit," he added.
"While people have demonstrated their wisdom, some parties have shown that they will go to any level to take down the discourse, by attacking the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, and later even during Operation Ganga, efforts were made to reduce it to the level of regionalism. They did not care if the families of those stranded in the war zones were getting more and more distressed," he said.
He added that his government's efforts would remain to push forward a pro-poor, good governance agenda.