New Delhi: A bow before the Constitution of India was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first action after being unanimously elected the National Democratic Alliance’s leader as he set the agenda for the next term of his government in the Central Hall of Parliament on Saturday.
In his address, Modi reached out to minorities, who he said have been cheated by the opposition and called for the lawmakers to earn their trust and put an end to the deception immediately. "We have worked for sabka saath, sabka vikas, now we have to strive for sabka vishwas," the PM said.
"The way the poor have been cheated, the minorities have been deceived the same way. It would have been good if their education, their health had been in focus. Minorities have been made to live in fear by those who believed in vote-bank politics. I expect from you in 2019 that you would be able to make a hole in that deception. We have to earn their trust," he added.
In the speech that touched upon the past as well as signalled the future, Modi also coined a new slogan that he said would be the guiding path for him: NARA – National Ambitions and Regional Aspirations.
“NDA is moving forward on two tracks, one on regional aspirations and the second on national ambitions,” he said, adding that the combination of the two is necessary for acceleration of growth.
Reflecting on the historic mandate given to the NDA, Modi urged the newly elected lawmakers not to rest on their laurels and stressed that the massive win has also led to increased responsibility.
“It is natural for us to feel proud about coming back to power...but as the elected we cannot hold on this pride. We have to work for the ones who voted for us and the ones who didn’t and we have to hope that our work will convince them,” he said.
Crediting the work that was done by his government for the election victory, Modi said the people of the country rejected those hungry for power and voted for his work. He described the elections like a “pilgrimage” as he felt his campaign tour was just going around thanking people for their support.
“When people have faith, instead of anti-incumbency, there is a pro-incumbency wave. This pro-incumbency wave is woven with trust. The trust was not only between people and government, but also among people themselves. This is a positive vote. This thinking has given such a big mandate,” he said.
The address was firmly centred on delivering promises made earlier as Modi gave a renewed push to his vision of ‘New India’, which he said must shed the tag of being anti-poor.
On the dais, senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi flanked PM Modi, while top alliance leaders, including Janata Dal United chief Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray and Akali Dal's Parkash Singh Badal listened from the front rows.
“The NDA must walk shoulder-to-shoulder but I am always happy to be one who takes the blame if anything goes wrong,” Modi said, assuaging any fears they may have had over their role in the government after BJP attained a clear majority on its own.
Badal had moved the resolution to elect PM Modi as the leader of the NDA Parliamentary Party, which was supported by JDU chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan and other leaders of the NDA.
"The people have accepted Narendra Modi experiment again from their heart. I want to say this about Modiji, whom I have worked with for 20 years, he has not taken even a day off. He has worked 18 hours a day," Badal said.
On Friday, the council of ministers led by PM Modi submitted their resignation, which was accepted by President Kovind, paving the way for formation of the new government.