New Delhi: Expressing confidence that voters will repose faith in the BJP in the 2019 general elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday slammed opposition attempts at unity, saying that hatred against him is the sole binding force behind these moves.
In an interview with the ‘Swarajya’ magazine, the Prime Minister denied that he was worried over the formation of a Grand Alliance of opposition parties and stressed that such attempts were not motivated by national good but are about the personal political survival and power politics.
In the opposition, there is no Grand Alliance: There is just a grand race to become the Pprime Minister. (Congress President) Rahul Gandhi says he is ready to be the Prime Minister but the Trinamool Congress does not agree. Mamataji wants to be the PM but the Left has a problem. The Samajwadi Party thinks their leader more than anyone else deserves to be PM. The whole focus is on power politics, not people’s progress, Modi said.
Hatred for Modi is the sole binding force for the opposition, he added.
The Prime Minister questioned as to how long will the dislike and mistrust these parties and leaders have for each other keep them together.
They are involved in direct and bitter contests against each other in various states like West Bengal and Kerala. The last time these parties formed a government in Uttar Pradesh (1993), it could not even last two years. Such instability adversely impacts the growth trajectory of our nation, he said.
About similar attempts that succeeded in the short term as in 1977 and 1989, the Prime Minister said the comparisons were flawed.
In 1977, the common motive of the alliance was to protect our democracy that was under great threat due to Emergency. In 1989, the record-breaking corruption of the Bofors deal had hurt the entire nation.
Today, these alliances are not motivated by the national good but are all about personal survival and power politics. They have no agenda except to remove Modi, he said.
Modi said that every alliance needs a cementing factor or an anchoring party but the Congress had been reduced to a regional party.
They are in power only in Punjab, Mizoram and Puducherry. In Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Sikkim, they have no representation in the Assembly. Their ‘strength’ in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is also well known. So, who is the cementing element for this alliance.
Referring to United Progressive Alliance Chiarperson Sonia Gandhi’s remarks on coalition politics at the Pachmarhi conclave of the party that it was a ‘passing phase’, Modi hit out at the Congress.
From the arrogance of Pachmarhi, the Congress is now running from pillar to post to look for allies. They are fighting a battle for existence. This is due to the people of India, who have rejected the high-handedness of the Congress.
Calling the Congress-Janata Dal-Secular alliance in Karnataka non-ideological and opportunist, he said that such coalition was the best guarantee for chaos wherein development takes a back seat.
The next general elections will be a choice between governance and development on one side and chaos on the other, he said.
The Prime Minister rejected the charge that the National Democratic Alliance under his leadership had weakened.
Today, things are even better. The NDA is a large and happy family of over 20 parties. It is leading strong coalitions in various states. Which other alliance has such an impressive membership and is serving in so many states?
He said that in 2014 the BJP could have easily formed the government on its own but instead took the NDA allies along and made them a part of the government.
The NDA is not our compulsion. It is an article of faith. A large and diverse NDA is good for India’s democracy.
He said the BJP contests elections on the issues of development and good governance.
On various parameters — economics, security, social justice, foreign policy — our government has done well. After 2014, time and again the people have blessed us in all parts of India. The mandates we have received in state after state are historic. Hence, we are confident that people will repose their trust in us again, he said.