Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said the next five years would be crucial for India to regain its global position.
He equated his first tenure as the prime minister (2014-2019), with the five years from 1942 to 1947 leading to India’s independence, which were key to laying the foundation for a strong India.
Making his first public address in Gujarat after his landslide victory, Modi said: “If we look at the five years leading to independence from 1942 to 1947, they were very important to revive the idea of India and galvanise the people to fight the external forces.
“This is a similar opportunity to awaken the public consciousness and work hard to scale new heights for the country. We must work as one society with one purpose and in one direction to achieve this goal,” he said in his speech outside the old Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters, where he took his first steps in politics in the 1980s.
Addressing thousands of people, Modi said wherever he went for campaign during the 2014 and 2019 elections, the stories of Gujarat’s development had already reached there.
Giving an example, he said: “I watched a social media interview of an elderly woman in Bengal where she kept on repeating Modi-Modi. But when asked who she will vote for, she said she will vote for the Communists.
“When she was asked why, since she wanted Gujarat like development, she said this is Bengal, we can’t say all this publicly, you never know what happens to you.”
Modi, along with BJP president Amit Shah, arrived here on a two-day thanksgiving visit to Gujarat, which gave the party all the 26 Lok Sabha seats once again. Modi later took his 95-year-old mother Hiraba’s blessings at Raisin near state capital Gandhinagar. He would spend the night at the Raj Bhawan before returning to Delhi today.
Modi will be sworn in on May 30.
President Ram Nath Kovind will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Modi and other members of the Union Council of Ministers at 7pm at Rashtrapati Bhavan, an official statement said yesterday.
Modi won a second consecutive five-year term with the National Democratic Alliance returning to power with a massive majority in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP alone bagged 303 of the total 542 seats that went to polls with the NDA getting 353 seats.
Elections were held in 542 of the 543 seats. The election in Vellore Lok Sabha seat was cancelled by the Election Commission citing abuse of money power.
Modi along with NDA leaders on Saturday met President Kovind and staked claim for the formation of government. Kovind asked Modi to decide his council of ministers and the date of his swearing-in ceremony.
>> Imtiyazbhai, who runs a tea stall near Gujarat BJP’s old headquarters in Ahmedabad’s Khanpur area yesterday said he was sure Modi would change the lives of Muslims in the country.
Imtiyazbhai, in his 60s, remembers Modi having tea and snacks at his stall while another Muslim man joined in to recall that the prime minister used to ask for video cassette recorder (VCR) from his TV shop nearby to “show video cassettes to journalists”.
Asked about his expectations from the BJP government, Imtiyazbhai told Gujarati TV channel GSTV: “I was very happy to hear Modi Saheb’s speech yesterday when he spoke about the welfare of minorities.”
With others around nodding in agreement, he beamed: “I am very confident Modi will transform the lives of Muslims not only in Gujarat but also across the country. We hope and believe that he will work improving the education and health situation of the Muslims.”
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