(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Barely an hour after his comparison of opposition parties with animals at a public rally here created a furore, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah virtually backtracked on his comments.
During his rally speech, Shah said when there are huge floods all animals like 'snakes, mongooses, dogs and cats climb together on a single tree trunk for refuge from the deep waters below.
'A campaign is underway to unite all opposition parties whenever there are huge floods, all snakes, mongooses, dogs, cats, leopards and lions, climb up a huge tree as they are scared of the rising waters.
'The political flood unleashed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made all these snakes, mongooses, dogs and cats, join together and unitedly contest the 2019 elections against him, he said.
However, barely an hour later, Shah clarified that what he implied was parties with different ideologies joining together to fight the upcoming elections vis-a-vis the BJP and Modi.
'What I intended was that the parties with opposing political ideologies which could never come together have united... They include BSP-SP (the Bahujan Samaj Party-Samajwadi Party), TDP-Congress, Congress-Trinamool Congress, etc., Shah said at a media briefing later.
He claimed that 'political parties with differing ideologies have united because of the fear of Modi, noting animals like snakes and mongoose never come together.
'However, if somebody has felt offended then I am naming them all now, there is nothing to feel bad about it. Kindly don't twist my comments out of context, Shah, apparently on the backfoot, appealed to the media.
Earlier in his speech, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis compared the opposition to wolves who posed no challenge to Modi.
Shah's utterances unleashed reactions and debates on the social media, with even veteran actor Nana Patekar joining in, asking that the Congress should at least get credit for ensuring democracy survived in the country.
Shah yesterday also urged party workers to take a pledge to ensure the BJP retained power with full majority to help achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of ‘New India'.
Addressing the rally to mark the BJP's 38th Foundation Day, the Bharatiya Janata Party chief said the countdown to the Lok Sabha elections had begun and called upon all activists to fan out to each village to highlight the Modi government's achievements.
'We don't want to fight the next elections on slogans or empty poll promises but on the basis of the government's achievements, he said.
'We should take a pledge to ensure a BJP win in the 2019 elections and in Assembly elections in Odisha and West Bengal and later even return to power (Chief Minister) Devendra Fadnavis' government in Maharashtra. It will be the dawn of the golden period of the BJP, Shah said.
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