Exuding confidence that NDA will win more than 350 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and Narendra Modi would become Prime Minister of India for a third time, Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Monday dared the Opposition parties to announce one name for the candidacy of Prime Minister.
Speaking about the meeting of the opposition parties in Bengaluru, the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment told reporters here that the Opposition party leaders' only agenda was to oppose Modi.
Athawale, who heads the Republican Party of India (Athawale) said NDA's meeting is being held in Delhi on July 18 and new parties are joining NDA to support Narendra Modi, and that his party too is supporting Modi for the 2024 elections.
He said Narendra Modi has been working for people belonging to all religions and communities. But the Opposition's only target was to defeat Narendra Modi, which he said is not possible.
"The Opposition wants to defeat Narendra Modi but defeating Narendra Modi is not child's play. Narendra Modi has worked for the country. Modi worked to strengthen the country," he said adding their (Opposition parties) focus is not on the good works done by the Modi government in various fields in the past nine years.
"Opposition parties are coming together (referring to Bengaluru meet) and they have right to oppose Narendra Modi. Our (NDA government) agenda is only development of the country and people and therefore people are with Narendra Modi. I have confidence NDA will win more than 350 seats in the 2024 elections and Narendra Modi will become Prime Minister of India for third time," he said.
Modi is the number one popular leader not only in India but all over the world and Opposition is trying to defame such a leader, he claimed.
"Let them oppose Modi ji as much as they can but in 2024 also Narendra Modi is going to become Prime Minister.
"Leaders of some 23-24 parties are attending the (Opposition) meeting in Bengaluru, but they don't have any (Prime Minister) PM face. I ask the Opposition to announce one name for the PM candidate like the NDA has only one PM face and it is Narendra Modi who is our PM candidate. When you (Opposition) say you all are one, then announce one PM face.
He added, "Whatever they (Opposition) want to do let them, but we have full confidence that we (NDA) will win with more than 350 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections," Athawale asserted.
On the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), Athawale said the proposed law is not against Muslim community. "UCC is not opposed to Muslims. This (UCC) will strengthen unity of Muslims and Hindus," he said adding that B R Ambedkar was in favour of the UCC.
Muslim community leaders can send their suggestions to the government on the UCC and Muslims should also support UCC, he said.
Stating that Modi is not against the Muslim community, Athawale accused the Congress and other Opposition parties of instigating and misguiding Muslims and Dalits.
"Opposition is spreading false propaganda that Narendra Modi will change the Constitution. I want to tell you that Narendra Modi has become Prime Minister to protect Constitution. Constitution will not be changed. Our government's effort is to strengthen Constitution. Our government is working for your welfare," Athawale insisted.
He also appealed to Opposition party leaders including Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to support the UCC and said it should be passed unanimously in Parliament.
He further appealed to Rao saying the BRS chief needs to pay attention to the safety of Dalits "as so many" atrocities cases are being reported in Telangana and said he should review it and take measures to bring down crimes against the oppressed community.
"TRS became BRS. It is good that you (Rao) are expanding your party in other States but it is not good that so many atrocity cases are reported in your state. Rao should focus in this regard, and also there is a need for him to concentrate on Telangana," Athawale added.