New Delhi: Home Minister and former Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh on Saturday handed over the party's baton to Amit Shah in New Delhi. Praising Shah for his leadership, Singh said that the former was best suited for the position of the party's President.
Singh said it was Shah's leadership in Uttar Pradesh that saw the party bagging 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state during the Lok Sabha election.
While addressing the BJP National Council Meet at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to ratify Shah as party President, Singh said that "some people may wonder why Amit Shah (for BJP chief's post)"?
This is the first national council meeting after the BJP-led NDA took charge at the Centre.
He said that when he was looking for someone to lead the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha election in Uttar Pradesh, he zeroed in on Shah. He added that under Shah's leadership, for the first time the BJP got 71 of 80 Lok Sabha seats while two seats went to a BJP ally.
He recalled that the BJP had just two seats in the Lok Sabha in 1984 and today it is the "biggest party".
"The credit goes to lakhs of workers... (and also) credit goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity."
Rajnath Singh said that BJP and Left parties are the only two parties in the country which are cadre and ideology-based. "We can say that the only cadre and ideology based party left is the BJP. The Congress has neither ideology nor cadre," he added.
Thanking party members for showing faith in him, Shah also lauded the efforts of party cadres in ensuring landslide victory in the recent Lok Sabha polls but said the "work of strengthening BJP in many places still remains".
He underlined that, "we cannot rule for long if party's reach does not expand."
Referring to the upcoming Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Haryana, Shah said the party workers should focus on ensuring victory for the party on its own in all the states.
Shah, a close confidante of Modi, slammed the former UPA government, saying it had left the country in bad condition as it had "failed on all fronts".
Referring to the recent Lok Sabha polls, the new BJP chief said in his maiden speech that the electoral verdict was "defeat of dynasty politics" and the "people rejected appeasement and votebank politics".
"When history is written, the former UPA government will be known as a government of scams," he said.
Shah was appointed as BJP chief on July 9 after Rajnath Singh resigned from the post soon after joining the Narendra Modi Cabinet. Though BJP Parliamentary Board, the highest decision-making forum of the party, approved Shah's appointment, the move had to be ratified by the party's National Council, as per the party's constitution.
The session is being attended by senior party leaders from all over the country. The National Council will also adopt a resolution that will focus on the political and economic issues as well as the initiatives taken by the government.
Strengthening the organisation and strategies for the upcoming elections in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Haryana and Delhi are also on the agenda for the meeting.
(With additional information from agencies)