The BJP will get 370 seats and the NDA more than 400 in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and form the government for a third consecutive term under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said here on Saturday.
Shah asserted that there is no suspense over the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls and even the Congress and other opposition parties have realised that they will again have to sit in the opposition benches.
“We have abrogated Article 370 (of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir). So we believe that the people of the country will bless the BJP with 370 seats and the NDA with over 400 seats,” Shah said at the ET NOW Global Business Summit 2024.
Asked about the possibility of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), headed by Jayant Choudhary, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and some other regional parties joining the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the home minister said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) “believes in family planning but not in politics”, giving an indication that more parties may join the ruling coalition.
When pressed further on the SAD, he said, “Talks are going on but nothing has been finalised.”
Shah said the 2024 polls will not be an election between the NDA and the INDIA opposition bloc, but between development and those who give mere slogans.
Asked about the Bharat Jodo Yatra of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, he said the the Nehru-Gandhi scion has no right to go ahead with such a march as his party was responsible for the country’s partition in 1947.
On the timing of a white paper tabled by the government in Parliament, Shah said it was necessary as the country has full right to know what mess the Congress-led United Progressive alliance (UPA) left behind when it lost power in 2014.
“At that time (2014), the economy was in a bad shape. There were scams everywhere. Foreign investment was not coming. Had we taken out a white paper at that time, it would have given a wrong message to the world.
“But after 10 years, our government has revived the economy, brought foreign investment and there is no corruption at all. So it is the right time to publish the white paper,” he said.
On the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the home minister said the people of the country believed for 500-550 years that the temple should be built at the place where Lord Ram was born.
“However, due to the politics of appeasement and citing law and order, the construction of the Ram temple was not allowed,” he said.
On the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Shah said the law, enacted in 2019, will be implemented before the Lok Sabha polls after issuing the rules in this regard.
“Our Muslim brothers are being misled and instigated (against the CAA). The CAA is only meant to give citizenship to those who came to India after facing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It is not for snatching anyone’s Indian citizenship,” he said.
On a Uniform Civil Code, Shah said it is a constitutional agenda, signed by the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and others.
“But the Congress had ignored it due to appeasement. The enforcement of the UCC in Uttarakhand is a social change. It will be discussed on all forums and face legal scrutiny. A secular country cannot have religion-based civil codes,” he said.