'We Rule 19 States, Even Indira Gandhi Had 18': Emotional PM At BJP Meet

Story Highlights
  • * PM Modi got standing ovation at first BJP meet after election wins
  • * He warned his party colleagues against complacency
  • * BJP retained Gujarat for a sixth straight term, grabbed Himachal too
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was emotional and was given a standing ovation as the BJP's parliamentarians met for the first time today after election victories for the party in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

"This is a big victory; we are now ruling 19 states. Even Indira Gandhi, when she was in power, was in 18 states," PM Modi reportedly told BJP MPs, sharing the journey of the party from two seats in the 1984 to now.
But the prime minister warned his colleagues against complacency ahead of a string of state elections and the 2019 national polls.

The BJP has retained Gujarat for a sixth straight term and snatched Himachal Pradesh from the Congress, taking its total tally of states to 19, including the five it rules with allies.
The party, however, won 99 seats in the 182-member assembly, missing the psychological 100 mark in the home state of both PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. The Congress, which has won its highest number of seats in the state since 1985, has interpreted it as a "moral victory".

Congress president Rahul Gandhi's comment that the BJP received a huge blow in Gujarat has been derided by various BJP leaders.

"The PM said Congress is making a laughable attempt to look for victory in its defeat," said Union Minister Ananth Kumar, giving details of the meeting.

Referring to Rahul Gandhi's comment that the Gujarat verdict indicated a "credibility problem" with the PM, the minister said:  "The Opposition has made all sorts of unnecessary and frivolous statements, including questioning the Prime Ministers credibility, which is uncalled for and irrelevant."

The Prime Minister called for strengthening the BJP at booth levels across India for victory in 2019 general election, Mr Kumar said.

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