New Delhi: Senior BJP leader and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that his party ‘has won the first round of ideological challenge on nationalism by forcing people raising anti-India slogans to chant Jai Hind now’.
Jaitley’s remark come in the backdrop of AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi refusal to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and stirring a controversy where political parties like Shiv Sena, BJP, Congress and others chimed in to give their inputs.
Jaitley also reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a 'Congress-mukt Bharat' and expressed confidence that the BJP would emerge victorious in the upcoming assembly polls in 5 states.
"The Congress is the tail-ender of every alliance. The voters of this country will bring Narendra Modi ji's slogan of 'Congress-mukt Bharat' to reality," Jaitley, who was talking to the media after a BJP executive meet, said, adding that the “political style of Congress is not of a mainstream political party”.
"The upcoming elections in the four states of Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu was on the agenda of the meet. The BJP alliance is prominent in Assam. Our membership has increased in Kerala and we will bring change there. We increased vote share in last polls in West Bengal. We will improve it this time also," Jaitley added.
He further said that even the biggest critic of the BJP has to accept that there is an honest government under the leadership of Narendra Modi.
The upcoming elections are crucial for the BJP, which faced a humiliating defeat in Delhi and Bihar last year. The polls are extremely important for the BJP-led NDA at the Centre which aims to improve its tally in the Rajya Sabha, where a lack of majority has stalled the ruling dispensation's economic reforms agenda.
Jaitley said that people's mandate in the May 2014 Lok Sabha elections has given the party two responsibilities. "First is to free India of hunger and lead to cohesive development and second to inculcate nationalism in the country and provide honest governance," he said.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Jaitley said, "Congress is fast eroding which has led to frustration in its leadership. We have to constantly strive to increase our political presence in all corners of the nation."
Jaitley also came down heavily on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government saying ‘its actions suggest it is anti-democratic’ and thus there is a great opportunity for the BJP to regain its political space. "Arvind Kejriwal government's acts suggest it’s an anti democratic party. We may have lost the election in Delhi due to a vote shift of few percent but now we are gaining this back," Jaitley said.
He questioned the claims of work done by Kejriwal government and said the people are disappointed with the dispensation.
"Delhi gave huge mandate but today, people are asking questions about development. Kejriwal's non-performance is being noted by the people. Congress is out of reckoning. There is a great opportunity for BJP to gain back its political space. People are disappointed with the Delhi government. It's the right time to go to the people," the Finance Minister said.
The Minister strongly condemned the political parties for trying to challenge Veer Sarvarkar's spirit of nationalism. "The anti-India slogans need to be condemned vocally by one and all. The support of the Kejriwal government to anti-national elements is condemnable," he said.