Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi, set to begin his second term as prime minister, yesterday made a major outreach to minorities and asked the newly-elected MPs of the party and its allies to gain their trust by breaching the “illusion of fear” instilled in them by certain parties because of vote bank politics.
Modi stressed that everyone would have to be taken along for the country’s progress and cited the example of the first war of independence in 1857 when members of all communities worked “shoulder-to-shoulder” to get freedom from the British rule.
“We have to re-ignite that spirit to attain self-dependence and remove poverty,” Modi said addressing the newly-elected Lok Sabha members of the BJP and its allies in the Central Hall of the Parliament.
Accusing opposition parties of keeping the minorities confused and frightened, instead of working for the improvement of their education and healthcare, Modi said: “Unfortunately, minorities of this country have been kept in fear, used in elections. We have to end this cycle...We have to breach the illusion of fear and insecurity.”
Insisting that his government would be working for 130 crore people of the country without discriminating against anyone, Modi underlined the need for winning the trust and confidence of the minorities.
“Those who vote for us are a part of us. The ones who don’t are also a part of us,” Modi said, stressing that no one must be left behind and there should be no discrimination.
“We have worked for ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ (development for all), now we have to strive for ‘sabka vishwas, (everyone’s trust)” he added.
Modi said it would have been good for the country if the minorities had been given an equal role in the economic and social development of the country.
“But for the sake of vote bank politics, minorities are kept in the illusion of fear and insecurity. They were kept away from everything. They were used during elections. We have to breach that deceit. We have to gain their trust,” Modi said.
Meanwhile, a day after Modi tendered resignation of his Council of Ministers, President Ram Nath Kovind invited him to form the next government.
“Exercising powers vested in him under Article 75 (1) of the Constitution, the President on Saturday appointed Narendra Modi to the office of Prime Minister of India,” a statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
The president also asked Modi to intimate him about the names of others to be appointed members of the Council of Ministers and indicate the date and time of the swearing-in ceremony to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Modi was formally invited when he called on the president at Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday evening in his capacity as leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party, which has majority support in the Lok Sabha.
A delegation of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), comprising BJP president Amit Shah and senior leaders Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari; Akali Dal’s Parkash Singh Badal, Janata Dal-United chief Nitish Kumar, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thakeray, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s K Palaniswami, NPP’s Conrad Sangma and NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio also accompanied Modi.
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