The Bharatiya Janata Party said on Saturday that the Opposition unity, as witnessed in Bengaluru after the Karnataka Assembly elections, would not pose any threat to the NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Replying to a query by The Sunday Guardian, BJP president Amit Shah said the Opposition parties coming together would not make any difference and expressed confidence that people would again repose trust in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. He said that the choice available for the voter would be virtually between PM Modi and an unknown face on the other side.
Shah was addressing journalists in the national capital on the completion of four years of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
“They fought against us in 2014 but we won. They are fighting against us again in 2019. So there is no change in situation. They are the leaders of their regions. If Mamata Banerjee and Chandrababu Naidu come together on one platform, what difference does it make in Bengal and Andhra Pradesh?” he asked.
The BJP president said: “If Sitaram Yechury and H.D. Kumaraswamy come together, what difference will it make to Bengal and Karantaka politics? It hardly makes any difference. They are all regional leaders and contested against the BJP. Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Sharad Pawar and Rahul Gandhi… they all fought against us. They are main opponents of the BJP in their states. Others don’t matter there.”
However, to another query about the changed situation in UP, where rivals Samajwadi Party and BSP have joined hands, he said: “When two boys (Rahul and Akhilesh) had joined hands before the Assembly elections last year, many people gave them the majority. But ultimately it was the BJP which got three-fourths majority. We still have one year in hand and I think we will be ready by 2019.”
He also made light of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s remark that he was ready to be Prime Minister if his party emerged as the biggest group. “It doesn’t matter as to what I think. Nobody from the Opposition like Sharad Pawar, Akhilesh Yadav supported him. Even his own party leaders did not support him.”
Shah said the BJP had replaced the politics of “appeasement, dynasty and caste” with the politics of “development and performance”.
“We have benefited 22 crore people with several schemes, while the country’s status globally has been taken to the highest level,” Shah pointed out.