Salvos as campaign ends

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Salvos as campaign ends

Fireworks galore as Modi speaks at Shah presser and RG also addresses media to hit back.

Fireworks galore as Modi speaks at Shah presser and RG also addresses media to hit back.

It was a press conference that wasn't, many thought, after they'd trickled into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in New Delhi on Friday afternoon, with much anticipation over news that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on his way to the party's press conference hall.

Earlier, the buzz was that the Prime Minister was headed to the party office in Delhi, from his last campaign rally in Madhya Pradesh, to meet the team behind BJP's mega election campaign and thank them for their efforts. But PM Modi soon arrived at the press conference hall for the first time in the last five years, flanked by party president Amit Shah and other office bearers.

The dampener, though, was he didn't take any questions from the present media and rather only addressed them about his assessment of his own election campaign in the last few months. "My opinion is that we are forming government with absolute majority. This will be happening in the country after a very long time," said the Prime Minister.

He added, confidently, "The public has decided to give us this opportunity to form government. We will try to fulfill promises made in our manifesto at the earliest. Our specialty has been last mile delivery. This is the new culture of governance."

Earlier, BJP president Amit Shah enumerated the details of the BJP's 'expansive' election campaign. He said the slogan in the last four days, had organically changed from 'Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar' to 'Baar Baar Modi Sarkar'. Shah took questions from the media, while the Prime Minister sat beside him.

On being asked about the controversial remarks of BJP's Bhopal candidate Pragya Thakur and other party leaders on Mahatma Gandhi, the BJP president said, "BJP is disappointed. We don't condone the statements. But we have issued showcause notices, and disciplinary action will be taken after responses are received."

When the question was directed at PM Modi, he said, "I'm a disciplined soldier of the party," and pointed towards his confidante, Shah, for further response.

Shah, however, was defensive about picking Pragya Thakur as a party candidate in these Lok Sabha polls. "We don't regret her candidature. Her candidature is an answer to Congress' votebank politics against 'Hindu terror'. They formed fake cases. This is our 'satyagraha'. I demand the Congress president apologise for discrediting Hinduism across the world," said Shah.

In his remarks, PM Modi said, the election has been amazing (shandar). Elections were held in a positive spirit. A government with full majority will come back after remaining in power for five years. This is probably happening after a very long time. This is a big deal in itself, the Prime Minister said.