New Delhi: In his first appearance before the press, at the very end of his tenure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday claimed that the BJP was about to repeat history and vote him back to power again.
At a press briefing at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi, Modi was flanked by party chief Amit Shah on one side and national general secretary Ram Lal on the other.
“Mera mat hai ki purn bahumat ki sarkar fir banayenge [my intuition is that we will form the government again with simple majority]. Rarely has it happened that a majority government, after completing five years, will come to power again," Modi said.
Modi said he wanted to thank the country, the people "who remained with me through highs and lows".
Unexpected things happened on the same day five years ago, Modi said, when betting rackets were predicting that the BJP would get around 220 seats. "Along with our coming to power, there was a big casualty. Some people invested heavily in betting rackets and lost crores of rupees. I just wanted to remind you that results were declared on this day five years ago, we proved everyone wrong. Our anti-corruption campaign started well before we even came to power," he said.
Modi asserted that his party had followed a meticulous programme throughout and despite all odds, he had stuck to it. "I did not miss one poll rally," he said.
Having been criticised for not addressing a single press conference in his five-year tenure, Friday’s interaction came as a surprise to many. However, Modi did not take questions and instead chose to deflect them to Amit Shah, saying, "in our party, the chief is everything".
Shah took all the questions, including one on the number of seats he was expecting the party to bag on May 23.
"We are getting over 300 seats on our own. We will form the government with our pre-poll allies and our doors are open to anyone who is willing to join us," he said.
Shah started his press briefing by saying that the ongoing Lok Sabha elections were the "most tiring and expansive yet". He added that the BJP had performed well in states like Odisha and West Bengal.
Shah continued his attacks on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying that 80 BJP workers had died in poll-related violence in the state under her tenure. "We are fighting elections across the country. Why aren't we under attack anywhere else? Why only in West Bengal?" he asked.