People of every caste and class voting for Modi: Amit Shah | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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People of every caste and class voting for Modi: Amit Shah

By, New Delhi
May 20, 2024 10:39 AM IST

Amit Shah said the BJP will retain most of its existing seats and add to its tally in hitherto less-penetrated geographies

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies will bag 400-plus seats in the ongoing elections as voters cutting across demographics are reposing faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, Union home minister Amit Shah said on Saturday.

The minister said apprehensions pertaining to a marginally lower turnout this time were overplayed. (PTI photo)
The minister said apprehensions pertaining to a marginally lower turnout this time were overplayed. (PTI photo)

People of every caste and class are voting for Modi, so much so that even supporters of other parties are sure that he will return as prime minister for a third term, Shah said in an interview with R Sukumar of Hindustan Times and Shashi Shekar of Hindustan at his residence in Delhi.

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The BJP will retain most of its existing seats and add to its tally in hitherto less-penetrated geographies, he said.

“We will do exceptionally well in West Bengal and Odisha. In West Bengal, we will get 24 to 30 seats. We will form the government in Odisha (the assembly elections in the state are being conducted simultaneously), and win more than 17 Lok Sabha seats (of the 21),” Shah said. And across South India as a whole, the BJP would have the most seats, he added.

The minister said apprehensions pertaining to a marginally lower turnout this time were overplayed.

“I was worried (about the turnout figures) after the first phase, but by the time the third phase of voting began, I discovered that the Opposition’s voters were not showing up. They are deeply disappointed that the result is already in (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s favour; and they believe it is better to sit than go out (to vote) in the hot summer,” he said.

Also Read:HT interview: We’ll do exceptionally well in Bengal, Odisha, says Amit Shah

“This isn’t good for democracy though. They should have cast their votes too, but because of widespread disillusionment among the INDIA bloc’s voters, turnout has fallen. In states where you see high voting percentages (this time) like West Bengal, Assam and Tripura, the voting has always been high, and even there, there is some dip in turnout. If you do an analysis you will find that there is a correlation between this dip and areas where the Congress has traditionally had support.”

The impressive turnout in the Kashmir valley was a good sign in this context, the home minister said, adding that feedback from grassroots workers across the country was encouraging. “I do not have a single rally after which I do not sit with 40-50 of our workers (to discuss what is happening). According to their feedback, there is nothing to worry about.”

Replying to a question whether the election was, in effect, a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the minister said, “This is just wordplay. Both sides have settled on candidates for the post of Prime Minister. Only Rahul-ji has been projected (on the other side); no one has spoken of (Mallikarjun) Kharge-ji. We are contesting elections under Modi-ji’s leadership, and he will become Prime Minister for the third time.”

Asked how big an impact issues such as inflation and unemployment would have, Shah said the same matters were brought up during the last election as well but they did not hurt the BJP’s electoral prospects because voters understand how much work the Modi government has done in terms of creating jobs.

Shah brushed aside allegations that Enforcement Directorate (ED) action against Opposition leaders seems to get suspended if they join the BJP and no summons or raids happen thereafter.

“The raid and summoning stage has ended for them. The charge sheets have been filed. Following this, the agency has no authority. The court has to decide,” he added. The next step “will happen (in court) when their turn comes,” Shah said.

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