NEW DELHI: A day after BJP snatched Assam from Congress, an upbeat party president Amit Shah said the latest breakthrough was just another milestone in the party's objective to establish long-term political ascendancy which would extend from Parliament to panchayats.
In an exclusive interview to TOI, Shah cited BJP's victory in Assam and the jump in its vote-share in Kerala, but said: "We are not looking for only short-term goals. We are a cadre-based party and we are working to turn the popularity of Prime Minister Modi and the goodwill his schemes have generated into our strengths. We have already worked out a schedule of year-long activities. Some 11 crore people have joined BJP due to Modiji and the party's image, and we are turning them into our cadre. The objective is to consolidate the party's dominance and extend it from Parliament to panchayats across India."
Shah said Modi's victory in 2014 had laid the foundation for BJP's growth. "This is not a secret. After becoming party president, I said we should not look at a low target. We should aim high. We should work to carry out the message far and wide and try to ensure that this government continues for a long time (beyond 2019)."
In response to a question, the astute tactician described himself as an RSS swayamsevak and said BJP had been tied to the Sangh since its inception. He, however, asserted there was nothing divisive about BJP's ideology.