- AAP no alternative to BJP, which's going to be only single viable option in Punjab in future: Singh
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought a "new political culture" in the country: Jitendra Singh
- In Punjab, AAP registered victory defeating Congress, SAD and the BJP-led alliance
The AAP is no alternative to the BJP, which is going to be the only single viable option in Punjab in the future, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Saturday, asserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought a "new political culture" in the country.
Assembly poll results of five states were announced on Thursday and the BJP won Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur, while in Goa, it on its own has touched the halfway mark.
In Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) registered a landslide victory defeating the Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP-led alliance.
Prime Minister Modi has also broken the jinx about anti-incumbency, Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function here after being asked about his party, BJP, retaining power in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.
The new political culture broke the jinx about anti-incumbency which was a notion created by the Congress during its 50 or 60 years of rule, he said.
"It had become a norm in the past to win elections on the basis of caste, creed and religion. Modi has broken this jinx," the minister of state in the Prime Minister's office said.
Asked about the challenge posed by the AAP that has scripted a stellar victory in Punjab, winning a three-fourths majority, Singh said, "…I make this forecast today, BJP is going to be the only single viable option in Punjab and for its people."
"You cannot draw a parallel, you have to understand the basic difference. The vote AAP has secured in Punjab is not pro-AAP party and it is an anti-establishment vote and incidentally the BJP was not part of the establishment in Punjab," he said referring to the outgoing Congress government in the state and asserted that AAP is no alternative to the BJP.
He said the BJP was actually living up to the commitment of "alliance dharma- the NDA dharma".
"The Akalis (SAD) were our oldest partners and there were suggestions from time to time that we should part ways from Akalis so that we could do better, but we did not. Everyone always cited the example that during the emergency when (former Prime Minister Indira) Gandhi had put all our senior leaders behind the bars, it was senior (Parkash) Singh Badal who came forward in support of the BJP," Singh said.
"Now this time also, it was the Akalis who walked out and we did not walk out. We have to start fresh. Next time or in days to come, you will again realise and I make this forecast today: BJP is going to be the only single viable option in Punjab and for the people of Punjab," the minister said.
Singh said that the BJP government at the Centre is working for the welfare of all, irrespective of creed, caste and religion.
“We in the BJP are proud that Prime Minister Modi has given birth to a new political culture in the country as a result of which opposition parties are compelled to think to follow suit. Modi ensured a reach out to those in need even if he is the last man in the queue, Sabka Saath and Sabka Vikas and no discrimination with anyone,” Singh. On the unity call of West Bengal Chief minister Mamta Banerjee to the opposition, he said Modi has shown how to fight an election in the 21st century.
"They have to review their strategies. Modi has shown them how to fight the elections in the 21st century. Whether a male or a female, a Hindu or a Muslim or any other religion, how to take everyone in the country along and serve the people full time," he said.
Responding to another question about a group of 23 leaders of the Congress, who had demanded an overhaul of the party organisation, he said it is an internal matter of the grand old party.
“As far as the BJP is concerned, we are working 24x7. We do not have time to look here and there,” Singh said.
Asked about reports of senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad not being happy with his party and that he might quit or form a new party in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “I do not want to get involved in it.There is no need for speculation.”
On holding of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, he said it is the prerogative of the Election Commission of India and it is the one to decide about it.
“I am not in a position to tell the timing of the elections. ECI will take its call,” he said, adding as far as the BJP is concerned, “we are always ready, 24x7 and this is the main reason when there is an election, all our leaders and activists come together and work in unison to reach out to the voters (to ensure the win of the party candidates)”.