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Shah says Modi invincible, calls poll ‘battle of Panipat’

New Delhi: Comparing the coming Lok Sabha polls with the “decisive” third battle of Panipat between the Marathas and Afghans, BJP president Amit Shah asserted that the elections will be a battle of ideologies whose outcome will impact centuries.

He asked the party cadre to go to people without fear as the Narendra Modi-led government has remained untainted despite unsuccessful efforts by the Opposition to make an issue out of nothing, a veiled reference to the Rafale jet deal. Raising the emotive issue of Ram Mandir, Mr Shah said that the BJP wants the temple to be constructed in Ayodhya at the earliest through constitutional means and accused the Congress of creating hurdles in the way of resolution of the issue.

In his inaugural speech at the two-day BJP national convention, he sounded confident that Modi-led NDA will retain power as the people are firmly standing behind the Prime Minister “as a rock” as he has tirelessly worked to provide benefits to all sections of the society.

The BJP president dismissed the proposed grand alliance of Opposition parties as a “sham”, saying they are a disparate group with neither a leader nor any policy and have been brought together by their greed of power.

Highlighting Modi as a performer, Shah hailed him as an “ajeya yoddha” (an invincible warrior) and said the coming elections are a battle between two ideologies, where on one side has the leadership of Modi who is backed by the ideology of cultural nationalism, antyodaya and “garib kalyan”, and the other side (proposed grand alliance) has neither a neta (leader) or a “niti” (policy) and has come together due to greed for power.

Attacking the Congress for manufacturing lies on the Rafale issue, Mr Shah said that the Supreme Court gave a clean chit to the Modi government over a petition filed by the Congress’ B-team. He said that the Congress is rattled that the Modi government has remained untainted and has given no issue to the Opposition before the polls.

Though Mr Shah hailed the various achievements undertaken by the Modi government to benefit various sections of the society, it was BJP president’s remark on the Ram Mandir that received the most thunderous applause from the party workers, who had gathered at the Ramlila Maidan, for the two-day convention.

“The BJP wants the Ram Mandir at that very site, let there be no doubt…we have said that the construction will be done through Constitutional manner…but the Congress keeps creating hurdle in the way (of the construction),” said Mr Shah as he mentioned how senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal had asked the court to hear the matter after 2019 Lok Sabha polls and asked the Opposition party to clarify its stand on the issue.