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Everybody says we are fine: Amit Shah in Chhattisgarh

Anurag Dey | Updated on: 11 June 2018, 15:42 IST

While the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) drubbing in the recent bye-elections suggests its strong middle-class constituency maybe moving away party President Amit Shah has asserted the contrary, saying it continues to enjoy the support of all the sections of society.

Addressing a media conference in Chhattisgarh’s Ambikapur, Shah also claimed the state under the BJP rule has long shed its image of a “BIMARU” state and was now among the league of developed states of the country.

“If the middle class had gone away from us, we wouldn’t have won so many elections. It is a misinformation being spread by the opposition,” Shah replied to a media query on whether the middle class was getting alienated.

“There are a lot of schemes aimed at the middle class, we wouldn’t have been in power in so many states if all the classes of the society had not supported us,” said Shah.

Shah’s assertions come in the wake of BJP drubbing in the recent by-polls where it lost 12 of the 15 Lok Sabha/Assembly constituencies where polls were held. A united opposition also wrested the crucial Kairana Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh and the Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra from the BJP.

Already disenchanted by the mediocre Union budgets, the middle class is said to be getting away from the BJP especially in the wake of skyrocketing fuel prices.  Besides, traders considered to be BJP’s core voters, have also been getting alienated with the unnecessarily complex rollout of the GST.

On the issue of fuel prices, Shah said the government was working on lowering the prices.

“Fuel prices have been cut down steadily, the government is equally concerned and working to bring them down more,” he said.

He also negated Opposition charges of the country’s border being insecure.

“In the last four years, it is the BJP government’s achievement that the most number of terrorists have been killed. Not just our borders are secure but India has a prestigious place in the world.

“When (former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh) used to go on a foreign trip hardly anyone would know about it. But when PM Modi goes to any country in the world, he is welcomed by all,” said Shah.

Asserting that the BJP will come to retain power in the state for the fourth consecutive time, Shah claimed the Narendra Modi government has doled out large amounts of central funds to Chhattisgarh to contribute towards its progress and development.

“Shedding the tag of a “BIMARU” state, Chhattisgarh has now made it among the developed states of the country. Thanks to the Raman Singh government in the state and the Modi government at the Centre, Chhattisgarh is now a hub of development.

“From being a power surplus state, to bringing Naxals under leash, from hike in agricultural production to rice to every poor and health to every household to telecom services even in the remotest of areas, I can go on listing the development work of the Raman Singh government,” said Shah.

Shah also enumerated various Central schemes under which funds have been granted to the state and asserted the party’s mission of winning 65 seats in the upcoming assembly polls.

Earlier, addressing a rally in the state on Sunday, Shah had affirmed that the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and reservation system in jobs will remain in force till the BJP is in power.

Campaigning for the party, Shah alleged that the Congress would use the  upcoming assembly polls to spread "lies" about the Modi government being “anti-reservation”.

"The Congress will spread different types of lies to mislead people. They will say the SC/ST Act is being abolished, they will say the reservation is being scrapped.

“I want to clearly say that the SC/ST Act and reservation will remain in force till the BJP government is in power," he added.

First published: 11 June 2018, 15:42 IST