Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s feelings for the elders in the BJP are just like what a son would have for his parents, senior party leader from Maharashtra Sudhir Mungantiwar said. The ruling party, especially the PM and its chief Amit Shah, have been getting brickbats from the opposition for denying Lok Sabha tickets to patriarch LK Advani and senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi.
“PM Modi’s pure feelings for his elders (in the party) are similar to what a son has for his parents,” Mungantiwar said during an interview with PTI. He said Modi and Advani agreed that after one attains 75 years of age, one should remain in politics, however, the new generation should also be given a chance.
“Health also does not permit one to do active politics after 75. Therefore, he (Modi) believes that the experience should be used for the betterment of the nation,” Mungantiwar claimed. He dismissed claims that the BJP’s tally in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls would reduce and asserted that the National Democratic Alliance may cross the 350-mark under Modi’s leadership.
“Initially, TV channels had predicted 220-230 for the NDA, and have now increased it to 297. There are six more (Lok Sabha poll) phases pending. Crossing 350 is not unrealistic,” he said repeating the BJP’s poll slogan ‘Modi hai to mumkim hai’ (With Modi, it is possible). Terming the Opposition’s “mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance) as “thug-bandhan” (pact among thugs), he claimed the biggest thug, the Congress, was being rejected by constituents like the SP, BSP.
He praised the Modi dispensation for its robust foreign affairs and cited Justice Dalveer Bhandari becoming a judge in the International Court of Justice with the highest number of votes and the United States’ strict admonition of Pakistan over terrorism as examples. He hit out at the Congress for promising to repeal the sedition law and said even Babasaheb Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution, was against such a move.
“They (Congress) have crossed their limits. Looking at the Congress’ manifesto, it seems as if it was made in Pakistan,” Mungantiwar alleged. He said Modi had ensured that national security as well as the issue of unemployment are given equal importance. On a question on state politics, he said only Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil could say if he would join the ruling BJP. Vikhe Patil’s son Sujay has already joined the BJP and is contesting Lok Sabha polls from Ahmednagar.
“You never know he (Vikhe Patil) may join during Janmashthami. However only he can answer if he will join. But, if he is willing to, he is welcome in the BJP,” Mungantiwar said. On the BJP’s alliance with the Shiv Sena, he said, “The sangam is such that our caste is Maharashtrian, religion Indian and gotra (lineage) Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.”