Those Voting Against Us Are Also Part Of Us: PM Modi

After an election season seen to be replete with polarising themes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that minorities had long been made to live in fear by those who believed in vote bank politics and that this deception needs to end to take everyone along.

Emphasising the need to win the trust of all sections, Modi said, “We have worked for ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’, now we have to strive for ‘sabka vishwas’. Those who vote for us are ours and even our most trenchant opponents are ours.”

Reiterating the importance of coalition politics, Modi said the BJP had a majority on its own with over 300 MPs but he wanted to see the NDA become stronger as alliances were important to fulfil regional aspirations. “BJP is 300-plus but we shall work together with the NDA partners in future,” Modi said, adding, “The credit for good work will go to all allies and I will take blame for blemishes.”

The PM floated the slogan of “NARA—national ambition regional aspiration”— saying that a balance between the two would be key to the country’s progress and it could not be accomplished without the support of the regional parties.

Modi’s outreach to minorities comes after sharply polarised electioneering where the candidature of Pragya Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon bombing case, against Congress leader Digvijay Singh heated the poll arena.

Similarly, poll rhetoric in states like West Bengal saw Trinamool and BJP going at each other over contentious issues like illegal migrants and the NRC.

Perhaps looking to bring down the political temperature and also indicate that polarisation cannot be a permanent state of affairs, the Prime Minister told a meeting of NDA MPs called to elect him leader that “unfortunately, the minorities of this country have been kept in fear, used in elections”.

“We have to end this cycle,” Modi said, calling for winning the trust and confidence of minorities, as he also said that the politics of alliances is a reality and important to fulfil regional aspirations.

He said the 2019 elections have worked towards breaking down walls and connecting hearts. “In a way they had become a way to unite society... This gave a new height to these elections. People have started a new era and all of us are witness to it,” the PM said, in a counter to commentaries that his election will divide people.

Modi also told MPs that they should not fret over ministry formation. He said there were “several Narendra Modis” who were busy making Cabinets.

He accused the opposition parties of keeping the minorities confused and frightened, instead of working on the improvement of education and health among them. He invoked the spirit of 1857’s first war of Independence, saying all communities had joined hands for Independence and a similar movement should be started for good governance now.

Set for a second term as PM, Modi said his government will begin “a new journey to build a new India with new energy” and asked newly elected MPs of the NDA to work without any discrimination, including on the basis of faith and castes.

In his over-75-minute address, Modi also gave several directions to MPs, including asking them to shun “VIP culture”. There is a pro-incumbency sentiment in this election and its result was a positive mandate, he said, adding that there is no better path than serving people when in power. “We ran the government for poor people between 2014 and 19 and I can say the poor elected the government this time,” he said.

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