New Delhi: Ratified as BJP chief, Amit Shah on Saturday sought from party cadre fresh milestones by sweeping the Assembly elections in four states as the country was not yet "Congress-free" while Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the defeated opposition of playing vote-bank politics and dividing society.
Addressing the day-long meeting of the National Council, the first party gathering after the landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Shah said time has come to spread the BJP ideology and expand its reach across the country like the Congress did all these years, maintaining that the party cannot rule for long otherwise.
"For long, Congress 'vichar' (thought) has been pre-dominant in the country's politics. Now, it is time to ensure that our 'vichar' (thought) has an imprint on the nation's politics," said Shah, architect of BJP's victory in crucial Uttar Pradesh winning 73 out of 80 seats there in Lok Sabha polls.
"The country is yet to be rid of Congress. The cadres should keep this in mind... Assembly elections are coming in four states of Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
"We need to ensure that we get absolute majority in all these states. This is our foremost priority. But our long-term objective is to provide good governance to the entire country," he told the conclave attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior leaders like LK Advani, MM Joshi and outgoing party chief Rajnath Singh.
Winding up the day-long proceedings, Modi hailed Shah as the "man of the match" for the Lok Sabha poll victory under Rajnath Singh's captaincy. But he did not let go the opportunity to come out with a stinging attack on Congress and SP in the wake of rising incidents of communal violence in Uttar Pradesh. He accused them of playing vote-bank politics and dividing the society.
"BJP never accepts such incidents (of violence). Peace, unity, harmony and brotherhood are the pre-requisites of progress and there will be no compromise on this. "Some people who have suffered a massive defeat are still not able to desist from engaging in old vote-bank politics. They are engaged in disturbing the social fabric of the country," Modi said in his 40-minute speech heard with rapt attention.
The Prime Minister said that at this juncture the unity of the country and the society was paramount. "If we have to take the nation forward, then all the 125 crore people will have to move forward," he said.