In what was the highlight of the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a roadshow in Bhubaneshwar Saturday as he arrived in Odisha for the two-day Bharatiya Janata Party national executive meeting. The dominant mood of the party was reflected in the presidential address delivered by Amit Shah.
Shah said that during the last national executive at Allahabad, in 2016, the party had taken a resolve to win the (then) upcoming elections in five states. 'Now we are at Lord Jagannath's place and we resolve to win big in the next set of state elections (in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka),' the BJP national president said.
Amit Shah went on to take the usual potshot at election analysts, saying those who were talking about the BJP winning two-thirds majority in Uttar Pradesh were left surprised after the Bharatiya Janata Party changed the grammar of politics by winning three-fourths majority.
He added that up until now analysts had said that the BJP was able to only beat national parties like Congress, and fared badly when it faced local opponents. The Uttar Pradesh win broke that myth, Shah said, adding that the victory clearly proved that people are firmly with the BJP.
'It's a firm rejection of family politics and politics of appeasement, and people have reposed faith in politics of development. Narendra Modi is the most popular prime minister India has ever had due to his extraordinary connect with people,' Shah said.
'OPPOSITION SCAPEGOATING EVMs'
Hitting out at opposition parties for raising the bogey of tampered EVMs, Amit Shah said, 'We had thought that parties who lost will do an honest introspection but now they are finding a scapegoat, which is EVM. When BJP lost the 2004 and 2009 general elections or state elections like the one in Delhi, EVMs were just fine. This (the allegations of tampered EVMs) just shows that instead of accepting the verdict they are insulting the EC.'
Amit Shah went to talk about the BJP's current position in national politics and the party's future. 'Today, the BJP is the largest party (in India) and has occupied 60 per cent of India's political space,' he said.
Laying great stress on improving the party's organisational structure, Amit Shah said that working committee members, including union ministers, will be asked to devote some of their time for organisational work.
He added that he over the next few months, he plans to spend 95 days travelling all over the country in order to connect with BJP workers and boost their morale.
Shah condemned the recent political killings of party workers in Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal, saying that BJP workers are not afraid of violence. 'We will meet violence with peace and determination', he added.
Talking about the work done by the Modi government in the last three years, Shah said the kind and amount of work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last three years would take other parties two to three terms to match.
Asserting that the BJP has much more left to achieve, Shah said, 'In 2014 people said that BJP has reached its peak. In 2017, they repeated the statement. But, our peak is yet to come'.
'We have 13 chief ministers across India but we aim to have a chief minister in every state,' he said, adding that from local bodies and state legislatures to Parliament, the BJP will have a majority in all political bodies of India.
'Our golden period should align with the golden India,' Shah said.