Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called the BJP's impressive performance in Tripura Assembly polls people's answer to "fear, lies and confusion" being spread against his government, and targeted the Congress, saying it was never so diminished as a party as it is now.
Addressing party workers at the BJP's newly constructed headquarters following the announcement of results of polls in Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya, Modi also took an apparent dig at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, saying some people grow in designation but shrink in stature.
In contrast, he said, BJP chief Amit Shah rose by leading the party to victories in many states.
In remarks laced with sarcasm, Modi said he had recently told Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy that the Congress leader was lucky as he will soon become a "specimen of a Congress chief minister" as his party will be in power only in his state by June after losing Karnataka, which goes to the polls in April-May.
Referring to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who heads the Congress government in the state, he said neither he nor they (Congress) consider each other their own. "He is a 'swatantra fauji' (independent soldier)," Modi said of Singh.
The prime minister said people of northeast had a sense of alienation but his government worked overtime to remove it.
Central ministers have spent more nights in one of these states to deal with their problems in the last four years than they did all the years earlier, he said.
"Fear, lies and confusion were being spread," he said, an apparent reference to the opposition's criticism of his government over a host of issues, and now people have answered it through their votes.
The Congress party has shrunk to its lowest ever size ever. There is a lesson to be learnt from this for other political parties, especially the BJP. We must not let ‘Congress culture’ creep in our party : PM Shri @narendramodi— BJP (@BJP4India) March 3, 2018
PM Modi set the party on the goal of securing power in Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal, saying the golden period is yet to come until and unless they have won these states.
Exhorting partymen to work for establishing BJP governments in these states, PM Modi said the BJP was spread across the nation like a Banyan tree on the efforts of its workers.
Also Read: Tripura Assembly Election Results: BJP alliance wins two-thirds majority in Left-ruled state, bags 43 seats
"For all round development a popular approach of 360 degrees is followed. It is considered to be the perfect approach for bringing good results. It has its own importance," Modi said remembering slain party workers killed in political violence in Tripura, Karnataka, West Bengal and other parts of the country.
“We remember them with moist eyes in this hour of victory”, PM Shri @narendramodi leads ‘observance of silence’ in the memory of the BJP-RSS karyakartas who have been killed in Maoist violence across the country. pic.twitter.com/WF5c4n24bS— BJP (@BJP4India) March 3, 2018
"Can we take a pledge to move towards 360 degrees. I believe that the party President will decide at a proper time as to which way we should move forward. As a party worker, we will do whatever the party asks us to do to bring victory results."
Modi said about two dozen BJP workers have been killed in Kerala, West Bengal and Karnataka.
Also Read: PM Modi's policies, Amit Shah's poll strategy led to win in northeastern states: BJP leaders
"Still we maintained silence. When we take action they cry 'vendetta'. This isn't vendetta but a mandate, a step for the betterment of nation."
Targeting the Left and the Congress, Modi said the election results in the northeast have proved that the best reply to those spreading rumours and lies was given by people in democracy through their votes.
Referring to the spectacular win, ousting the Left from 25 years of power and the BJP surge in the northeast, Modi said: "When the sun sets its colour turns red, when it rises it is absolute saffron. Yesterday (Holi) the nation was smeared in all the colours but today all those colours have merged into saffron."
He said the "Congress stature has never been so low as it is today. Our President (Amit Shah) is winning us elections after elections and the Congress President (Rahul Gandhi) was thrust on the party and his stature is getting smaller by the day due to losses in elections in one after the other," Modi said.
He warned BJP workers, asking them to remain vigilant against Congress culture seeping into the party ranks.
Talking about the electoral victories in the northeast, Modi said the region was the most important part of the country as per the "vastu shastra".
"In vastu also, the northeast in a house is very important. According to vastu shastra, northeast is the most auspicious side. I am happy that northeast is now a part of the BJP's development path. With the northeast now taken care of, the foundation for the rest of the country has automatically become solid."
He said people from the region used to feel that Delhi was too far from them but now the situation is such that New Delhi (the Central government) has itself at the doorstep of the northeast. We sent more ministers to northeast in the last four years than any other government since independence. Every 15 days, we would send a minister there to spend at least 24 hours so that we can understand their aspirations and there problems."
Modi said victory and defeat are natural in a democracy but he has seen from 2014 that BJP rivals have not reconciled to loss. He cited the statement of the CPI-M which blamed its defeat in Tripura on use of money power by the BJP and said he was taken aback by that statement.
Modi took a brief pause when there was a call for prayers from a nearby mosque, and also paid respects along with the audience to deceased party workers, allegedly victims of political violence, by keeping silence for a while.
He was felicitated by senior party functionaries, including members of the BJP parliamentary board, headed by Shah.
Speaking on this occasion, Shah said the poll results on Saturday were a "historic" verdict from all angles.
"It is a historic day for the BJP. Victory celebrations are being held in the new party office. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the victory chariot has reached the northeast and is on its way to Karnataka.
"It is the victory of act east policy and development policies of the NDA government. The people of the northeast have put a stamp of approval on the policies of the government."
He said the Congress has not been able to open its account in Nagaland and Tripura and the manadate in all the three states of the northeast was against the Congress.
Earlier in his victory speech and at a press conference, Shah also spoke of the party forming governments in Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal and Odisha and returning to power at the Centre in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
"Till the (BJP) governments are formed in Odisha, West Bengal and Kerala, till the time we win Karanataka, the golden period is yet to come. We will form governments in Odisha, West Bengal and Kerala and surely win Karanataka," he said.
Watch video: PM Narendra Modi addresses party workers at BJP HQ