Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the results of the Assembly elections in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland showed that the northeastern States were no longer “ Dil se door na Dilli se door” (neither far from our hearts nor from Delhi). Addressing BJP workers at the party headquarters in New Delhi, Mr. Modi also launched a sharp attack on his detractors, stating that however much they wished “ mar ja Modi” (that Modi should die) the people of the country wished the opposite - “ mat ja Modi” (do not go Modi).
The BJP has been elected back to power in Tripura and is part of the ruling coalition which won in Nagaland. Mr. Modi said that there were always attempts to straitjacket the BJP as an upper caste, urban party that minorities shied away from but successive election results had proven that the party got support from all sections of society. “Meghalaya and Nagaland are Christian-dominated and our brothers and sisters there have taken us to their hearts, as the people of Goa have done,” he said. In a reference to the Congress-Left alliance in Tripura, Mr. Modi said people were also keenly observing that some parties were combatants in one State and allies in another. “People of Kerala are watching this shadow boxing too and how both these parties are looting the State,” he said.
He accused Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge of discounting the northeastern States over their relatively small size. “This has exposed the smallness of their thinking and shows that their sentiment of ‘Bharat Jodo’ hasn’t been sincere, and such thinking will result in further defeats in elections,” he said targeting the Congress.
He said that the secret of the BJP’s success was because of its “ triveni” or three-skeined mantra of success - the work of its governments, the work culture it fostered and the hard work of the BJP workers.
“When I recently visited one of the northeastern States, a person came up to me and congratulated me on my ‘half-century’. He explained that he was referring to the fact that I had visited the Northeast more than 50 times in my time as Prime Minister. I felt that by these visits I had grown close to people’s hearts,” he said. He added that his party and government unlike others had taken on tough challenges. “Past governments felt it was tough to bring in electricity to the Northeast, so they let them be in darkness. Our government took on the challenge and has worked hard to provide power, housing, water and connectivity to these States,” he said.
On a day when two women MLAs were elected to the Nagaland Assembly for the first time, the PM pointed out that it was the BJP that gave Nagaland its first woman Rajya Sabha member in S. Phangnon Konyak. “The blessing of our mothers and sisters in the northeastern States, as in other States is our protective shield in political battles,” he said.