BJP party president Amit Shah has defended and escalated his 'Cat, dog, snake, mongoose' attack at Opposition unity that he made during his speech at the BJP's Foundation Day mega-rally in Mumbai on Friday.
Addressing a briefing just a short while after his blistering attack, Shah said that his remark wasn't aimed at individuals, rather, it was to highlight that people of different ideologies had come together.
Speaking at the mega-rally, Shah had said:
"The countdown to 2019 has begun. The whole opposition says to come together. I had heard a story once: When a flood comes, everything, plants, trees, everything flow away. But one Banyan tree survives. The snake climbs aboard it, the mongoose climbs aboard it, dog climbs aboard it, tiger climbs aboard it, cheetah climbs aboard it... All of them climb aboard because they're scared of the water below.
Modiji's flood has scared snake, mongoose, dog, cat, all of them to come together and fight elections."
When asked about the statement during the news conference, Shah said:
"I gave snake and mongoose example as they are species that are always in opposition to each other and don't come together under normal circumstances. So discarding their ideologies, Opposition parties are uniting because of the Modi wave. Still, if they felt bad, then I will say... SP, BSP, Congress, TMC... I will name all of them. There's nothing to feel so bad about. I only wanted to say that parties that have nothing to do with each other ideologically... these types of parties have come together. If someone's sentiments have been hurt... then I'll name them: SP and BSP, Congress and TMC, Chandrababu Naidu and Congress... these kinds of persons never come together. But because of fear of Modiji, they're coming together."
During his interaction with the media, Shah praised how the BJP had grown, calling it the biggest political party in the world with an overwhelming mandate. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership had changed the way governance had been conducted since Independence.
"The Narendra Modi government is an example of a transparency and honesty. We are rashtra-bhakt party."
After earlier announcing that the countdown to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections had begun, Shah announced a series of upcoming events to mark significant days and honour past leaders such as Mahatma Phule and Babasaheb Ambedkar.
"I believe that under Narendra Modi's leadership we'll win the 2019 elections with an even bigger mandate."
He congratulated Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and the state's karyakartas for the organisation of the Foundation Day event