Stressing that the BJP has done “exceedingly well” in every election after 2014 general elections, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that it has become a “pan-India party” which is now fast spreading its roots across the country.
“Since May, 2014 India has seen many state and local elections. The BJP has increased its vote in each of these elections. It has done exceedingly well in states like Maharashtra, Haryana and Assam where it traditionally played a second fiddle to regional parties,” he said in an article.
He said that results of local elections in Odisha and Maharashtra have shown that the BJP is capable of winning major states on its own.
“The first message of these elections is that the BJP has become a pan-India party which is now fast spreading its roots even in the eastern and southern states,” he said, adding that the forthcoming elections for the Karnataka Assembly will reassert this.
Jailtley also criticised the Congress for its stand on demonetisation, and said it has lost its “traditional constituency of the poor electorate” to the BJP.
“In any case, a party which has governed India for more than half a century cannot afford to take a stand which supports excessive use of cash and ridicules the new tools of technology which will enable digital transactions to be a substitute for cash.
“The Congress has lost its image as a responsible political organisation. From a natural party of governance, it has moved to the fringe. It’s policies have alienated its constituency of the poor aam aadmi,” he added.
In Maharashtra, he said, the Congress got pushed to third or fourth place in most cities.
“It is not even a major contestant in states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. It is struggling to survive by becoming the tail-ender in an alliance in these states. Many in the Samajwadi Party are wondering if it was worth leaving 103 seats for the Congress in Uttar Pradesh,” the minister said.
“Is the Congress willing for an introspection as to why this is happening,” he asked.