New Delhi: BJP President Amit Shah on Thursday projected his party's maiden victory in the Assam assembly polls and the rise in its vote share in other states as popular endorsement of the Narendra Modi government's policies and asserted that people have rejected Congress' "negative and obstructionist" politics.
Shah said its "very good" performance in various states besides the by-polls in some others had led a strong foundation for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls while the results showed the country had taken two more steps towards 'Congress-mukt Bharat' (Congree-free India), a reference to the opposition party's loss in Kerala and Assam where it was in power.
"In a way, its a public approval of the two years of work of the Modi government. It is a win of positive politics and we can see a beginning of the politics of performance. People have also given a lesson to those who have practised negative politics and tried to derail development with their obstruction in Parliament.
"The country has taken two more steps towards Congress-mukt Bharat. In all these places BJP had never been able to put up a good performance. This time a staunch foundation has been laid and a building will be created by 2019," he told a press conference referring to next Lok Sabha polls.
The Modi government's pro-poor, pro-farmers and pro-village work has received people's approval, he said.
BJP's impressive win in Assam and double-digit vote percentage in Kerala and West Bengal, its highest ever in assembly polls, has come as a big boost for Shah whose leadership had faced criticism from within the party after back to back defeats in Delhi and Bihar elections.
"The victory in Assam is very crucial. It is a border state from where a Congress Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) ruled for 10 years and now we have been able to have our own government. It is a big achievement," said Shah.
He noted that the party had pledged to strengthen its organisation in seven states, including the four whose results were declared today, and the verdict showed that it had done a good work in this regard.
Shah, however, reserved his sharpest words for Congress, saying the poll results are a clear indication that whichever party will go with it will suffer.
Referring to Congress strident opposition to the government's legislative agenda in Parliament, he said "Congress has lost everywhere as it has tried to settle political scores (in Parliament). It has kept politics ahead of development in Parliament and been non-cooperative. People have worked to teach it a lesson."
He congratulated Mamata Banerjee and J Jayalalithaa on their win but refrained from wishing the Left over its win in Kerala, saying he was doing so to respect his party workers sentiments over the way the Left parties used violence to target them.
Asked if he saw a growing challenge from regional satraps like Mamata, Jayalalithaa, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Shah rejected the notion and said what was important for him is that BJP is doing good and it will fight the next Lok Sabha polls on Modi government's performance.
To a poser about Mamata's support to the government over its developmental agenda including GST bill despite her ideological differences, he quipped light-heartedly that he had also given her a signal and everybody is "welcome" for the country's development. Today's results are a matter of big happiness for the party, he said.
Referring to the BJP-led NDA's massive win in the northeastern state of Assam, he said his party had on its own got an almost majority, a "big achievement", but added it will form the government with its allies.
In West Bengal, its vote share had gone up to 10.7 per cent from 4.6 in 2011 assembly polls while in Kerala it along with its ally BJDS had fetched over 15 per cent votes compared to 6 per cent in 2011, he noted.
In Gujarat, it had wrested a seat from Congress in the by-poll while in by-poll to two seats in Uttar Pradesh its vote share had risen by several times though it came second in both seats.
He, however, did not take question on the fate of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. There have been reports about her likely replacement, which the party has denied.
Shah said he wanted to assure the people of Assam that the NDA is committed to its development and putting it among the most developed states in the country.
He parried a question about the party's Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking removal of RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, saying "It was Swamy's feeling. He has not written to me if he had, then I would have replied to this."
Asked if the government would see a reshuffle soon, he said no such decision was taken yet. Shah was joined by union ministers J P Nadda and Piyush Goyal, party general secretaries Kailash Vijayvargiya and Bhupender Yadav and its national secretary Shrikant Sharma at the press conference.