Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the next five years will be the time to regain the rightful position of India in the world order.
He was speaking here at a function following the Lok Sabha election victory, which was kept simple and shorn of pomp because of the Surat fire tragedy. “Next five years will be very important in the history of the country, as was the period between 1942 and 1947,” Modi said addressing a huge gathering. “Next five years will be the time to regain the rightful position of India in the world order. In the past our country had that place. I am sure India will regain its importance in the world order,” he said.
He also expressed grief over the death of 22 students in Surat building fire tragedy. “Till yesterday, I was in two minds whether to go for this felicitation function or not as on one hand, there was kartvya (duty) and on the other hand, there was karuna (compassion) for those who died in Surat. No amount of words can reduce the grief of the families who have lost their children in that tragedy,” he said. The function was kept simple in the wake of the tragic incident in Surat, he noted.
The prime minister addressed the gathering at JP Chowk outside the BJP office in Khanpur area, its former state headquarters before it shifted to Gandhinagar. It now houses the party’s city unit office.
Modi reminisced that he had spent many years in this small office during his initial days as a politician. He had last addressed a gathering at JP Chowk when BJP won the 2012 Assembly polls, he recalled.
The Lok Sabha results stunned all the political pundits, Modi said. “During the campaigning for the sixth phase, I had, for the first time, said we will cross 300 seats. At that time, many people made fun of my statement... I saw during the campaigning that people were keen to reinstate this government. People wanted to strengthen the government. They knew that their votes will provide guarantee of security and bring prosperity,” he said.
“This is a pro-incumbency vote. A vote to reinstate the present government. In the beginning of the poll campaign, I had told it is not BJP or its candidates who are contesting, it is the people who are contesting the polls... The word ‘wave’ is too small to describe the poll results this time,” he said. This big mandate brings big responsibilities. It is important to remain humble and grounded in the wake of such a massive win.
The BJP leader also remembered the victims of the devastating fire in Surat two days ago, and said he was in a dilemma as to whether he should address such a gathering in the immediate aftermath of the incident that claimed 22 lives.