Addressing the first press conference since May 2014 when the NDA came to power at the Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday exuded confidence that his government will return to power at the Centre with a “much bigger majority”.
"There was a time when IPL had to be taken out of the country for polls. But when there is an adept government, we can manage to hold elections, observe Ramzan, Easter and more," he said.
In a surprised move, PM Modi showed up on the dais for a scheduled press conference by BJP president Amit Shah, who gave a detailed report card of the campaigning as well as performance of the NDA government.
He told reporters that he will not take any questions because the press conference is being addressed by Shah, and in BJP's system, discipline has to be followed. "We are disciplined soldiers of the party," PM Modi said.
Speaking at the BJP’s press conference, PM Modi said that for the first time, a government that enjoyed a five-year term will return to power with full majority.
Recalling the NDA's landsliding victory in the 2014 general elections, PM Modi said: "Election results came on May 16, 2014. A huge casualty took place on May 17, 2014. Today is May 17. People in 'Satta bazaar' who used to bet for Congress to win in elections faced huge losses on May 17."
PM Modi has been repeatedly criticised by Congress president Rahul Gandhi for not addressing a single press conference ever since he became the prime minister. However, recently, the former has given a series of interviews to several news channels during the campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls.
Amit Shah, to a question, said, "I have answered your question. It is not necessary for the PM to answer every question."
On the BJP's performance, Modi said,"the election has been amazing (shandar). Elections were held in a positive spirit. A government with full majority will come back after remaining in power for five years . This is probably happening after a very long time. This is a big deal in itself."
"The public has decided on the next government. We have promised many things in our manifesto to take the country forward. As soon as possible, the new government will take charge and we will take decisions one after another," Modi added.
He said India should impress the world with its diversity and democracy.
"I believe some things we can proudly say to the world. This is the world's largest democracy, it is our responsibility to take the power of this democracy to the world. We should impress the world with the diversity of the democracy," he said.
He said there was a time when Indian Premier League had to be shifted out of India due to polls, but under the current government, elections can be held even when the Ramzan was being observed and Easter commemorated.
The prime minister said, during the campaigning, he told people that "I have come to thank you for your blessings....The country has always been with us. So in a way the campaigning was a way of saying thank you to the people. Even today, I am here to thank you and thank them through you."
Modi said work to fulfil promises made in BJP's manifesto will be started as soon as the party comes to power.
"We ensured last-mile delivery which was a new structure of governance...Our government will take up its responsibility as soon as possible," he added.