IMAGE: Sansad TV
Hailing PM Modi's journey from 3-time Gujarat CM to Prime Minister, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday, reminisced his 20-year long journey from Gujarat BJP, to CM to PM. In an exclusive interview with the state-run Sansad TV, Shah explained how Modi strengthened BJP's grass-root level organisation in Gujarat leading to its first electoral victory in 1987. BJP has marked the 20-year journey of PM Modi with 'Seva Samarpan' programs across India.
"Modi ji's public life can be divided into three parts. After joining BJP, the first period was of organizational work. The second period was during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat and the third period he became the Prime Minister by coming into national politics. These three periods were extremely challenging. When he became the organization minister, BJP's position in Gujarat was not good at that time," said Shah.
Lauding Modi's work as 3-time Gujarat CM, he said, "After becoming Chief Minister, he understood the nuances of administration with great patience, connected experts in the administration and took the plans of the government to the public. After his arrival in 1987, the first election was held for Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and for the first time BJP came to power there on its own".
Extolling PM Modi's work in reviving India's reputation at a global stature, Shah said that the UPA era was filled with policy delay, internal strife. Comparing to the smooth functioning under NDA, he listed the Modi govt's many achievements like - triple talaq, one rank one pension, surgical strikes, revocation of article 370, economic reforms. He said that such decisions can be made only under a strong PM.
"Under the UPA government, the country was going down in every field, there was no respect for the country in the world. Policy decisions kept getting entangled in the internal strife of the government for months. Cabinet ministers did not attend office for 5 years. In such an environment, Modi ji took over as the Prime Minister of the country and today everything runs smoothly," said Shah.
He added, "Modi ji makes decisions by taking risks, this is true. No one dared to implement the law on triple talaq, one rank one pension. Everyone was silent on surgical and air strikes, no one dared to remove Article 370, decisions like various economic reforms. Only a prime minister with strong willpower could".
Dismissing the Left's ideologies, he said, "The Left path is not one to uplift the poor, but to sit in power by and gaining political capital for the discontent. After nearly 27 years of Left rule in Bengal, see the situation in Bengal, see the situation in Tripura, and compare them with Gujarat. Working for the people can be done even by being in opposition. When in power, the ruling govt takes certain decisions and the Opposition works to expose the holes in it".
हर विरोध के साथ नरेन्द्र मोदी जी और मजबूत होते हैं और उससे मोदी जी का हौसला बढ़ता है।— BJP (@BJP4India) October 10, 2021
लोकतंत्र में इससे बड़ी उपलब्धि क्या हो सकती है कि एक व्यक्ति कड़े फैसले लेता है और देश की जनता चट्टान की तरह उसके साथ खड़ी रहती है- श्री @AmitShah#20YearsOfSevaSamarpan pic.twitter.com/ukUWvJAn94
In 2001, Keshubhai Patel resigned as Gujarat CM due to failing health and a directive from the BJP's high command. The saffron party had reportedly told him to resign after 'sheer irregularities' in relief works after Jan 26, 2000 quake that had killed thousands, as per reports - making way for Narendra Modi's first stint as CM. Later, facing immense backlash for inaction in the 2002 Gujarat riots, Modi stepped down as CM - dissolving the Assembly. He was re-elected with a thumping majority of 127 seats and commenced his first stint as Maninagar MLA.
In subsequent elections, Modi made Gujarat BJP's impenetrable fortress winning elections in 2007, 2012 and 2017. Under his three stints as Gujarat CM, Modi was credited for the rapid growth of the state’s economy - dubbing it the 'Gujarat model'. With his widespread popularity, in June 2013 Modi was chosen as the BJP's PM face for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Riding the Modi wave, he was elected PM twice in 2014 and 2019. Under PM Modi's seven-year reign, the BJP govt has implemented several groundbreaking reforms like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Ujwala scheme, Jan Dhan Yojana, Awas Yojana, Garib Kalyan scheme and Jal Jeevan mission. His term has also been marked by controversies like demonetisation, snap revocation of Article 370, anti-CAA riots and farmers' protests.