Narendra Modi was unanimously elected NDA parliamentary party leader at meeting at Parliament’s Central Hall in national capital Delhi on Saturday. Addressing newly elected MPs of the BJP and NDA partners, the care taker prime minister advised them to win over the trust of minorities and work without discrimination.
In his 75-minute speech, Modi stressed on the need of inclusiveness, asking his MPs to take along everyone, including his trenchant critics and those who have not voted for the ruling coalition.
Modi said that for years, minorities were forced to live in an “imaginary fear” and that they now have the task to break this “deception”. He also asked his MPs to refrain from making unnecessary remarks for publicity and end the “VIP culture”.
"MPs should shun the VIP culture, they should stand in queues wherever required, like other citizens," he said.
During the meeting of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance lawmakers, Modi also snubbed his own party lawmakers Pragya Singh Thakur, key accused in Malegaon terror attack. She was fielded from Bhopal against Congress leader Digvijay Singh.
Thakur had triggered a row after he praised the assassin of Mahtma Gandhi, who is regarded as “father of the nation”. The remarks during electioneering prompted the BJP to gag her and serve a notice, seeking her response on her controversial comments.
Reacting to her remarks, Modi had said that he will never be able to forgive Thakur for her remarks against Gandhi. “These kinds of statements made about Gandhiji are condemnable and cannot be allowed in a civilised society. She may have apologised, but I shall never forgive her (Thakur),” Modi had said.
In the general elections, Modi led the BJP-led NDA coalition to a landslide victory with the alliance winning 353 seats, including an unprecedented 303 by the saffron party alone.
All its key allies, including Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray, LJP’s Ram Vilas Paswan and Akali Dal’s Parkash Singh Badal, were present as BJP president Amit Shah announced Modi’s name as the alliance leader after formalities were done amid massive cheers from the MPs.
President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Modi to the office of the Prime Minister of India. The president has asked him to begin process of forming the new government and he will soon inform him about the date of oath-taking ceremony.