- Amit Shah has dismissed proposed grand alliance of opposition as "sham"
- Opposition's proposed alliance has no nationwide relevance, he said
- BJP wants Ram temple in Ayodhya at the earliest: Mr Shah
BJP president Amit Shah on Friday said that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections were like the third battle of Panipat between Marathas and the Afghan army fought in the 1761. Saying that the election results will be equally significant for the country, Mr Shah added that the polls would be "a battle of ideologies".
In his inaugural address at a party convention in Delhi, he dismissed the proposed grand alliance of opposition parties as a "sham", saying they are a disparate group with neither a leader nor any policy and have been brought together by their greed of power.
He also said that the BJP wants a Ram temple to be constructed at the earliest in Ayodhya, drawing huge applause from thousands of party members, and accused the Congress of creating hurdles in the issue's early resolution in the Supreme Court.
Targeting the opposition, Mr Shah said its proposed alliance has no nationwide relevance and the BJP had defeated each of them in 2014, claiming that the party is sure to come back to power with a bigger majority. It had won 282 of 543 seats in the last Lok Sabha polls.
Amid a challenge from the likely opposition unity and the BJP's defeat in the recent state polls, Mr Shah sought to reassure the party cadres about its prospects, describing PM Modi as an "invincible warrior" he has known since 1987 and under whom not a single election has been lost.
The party has the "world's most popular, visionary, transparent and hardworking" leader in PM Modi with the opposition having no match to him, he asserted, asking thousands of BJP delegates to go with the pledge of bringing the government back to power.
That rival parties are joining hands against the BJP is their admission of PM Modi's strength, he said.
In his over an hour-long speech, Mr Shah spoke about a number of government measures and attacked the Congress for targeting PM Modi on the issue of corruption when, he said, its president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi are on bail in a "case of corruption".
Comparing the 2019 elections to the 1761 battle of Panipat, Mr Shah said, "It was not merely a loss in one battle... India was sunk in slavery for 200 years and the English ruled us for two centuries. It was a decisive battle."
Under king Shivaji, the Marathas had started freeing different parts of India and won over 131 battles under various kings before losing the third battle of Panipat in 1761.
Amit Shah also claimed that the party is on its way to win more than 50 per cent votes in Uttar Pradesh, asserting the BJP-led alliance's tally will increase to 74 seats from 73 it had won in 2014 out of the state's 80.
Mocking the "bua-bhatija" alliance of Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party and Mayawati''s BSP, he said they could not stand each other but have now joined hands due to the BJP''s fear.