Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said people's mandate in the Lok Sabha elections has given an opportunity to the country to regain its lost position in the world order.
Speaking at a felicitation event here organised by the Gujarat BJP unit, he urged the cadres to remain humble after the landslide victory.
"I can see that the next five years will be very crucial, both in the context of India and the world. And fortunately, we are now having a full majority government, that too having support of strong NDA allies," he said.
The next five years will be as important as the period between 1942 to 1947, he said.
"This is an opportunity for the country to regain its lost position in the world order. And, I have no doubt that we will achieve it. This is a big opportunity to awaken people's conscience and take the country forward. It is time to make a vow to make India a problem-free country," Modi said.
The prime minister addressed the gathering at JP Chowk outside the BJP office in Khanpur area, its former state headquarters before it shifted to Gandhinagar. It now houses the party's city unit office.
Modi reminisced that he had spent many years in this small office during his initial days as a politician. He had last addressed a gathering at JP Chowk when BJP won the 2012 Assembly polls, he recalled.
The Lok Sabha results stunned all the political pundits, Modi said.
"During the campaigning for the sixth phase, I had, for the first time, said we will cross 300 seats. At that time, many people made fun of my statement... I saw during the campaigning that people were keen to reinstate this government. People wanted to strengthen the government. They knew that their votes will provide guarantee of security and bring prosperity," he said.
"This is a pro-incumbency vote. A vote to reinstate the present government. In the beginning of the poll campaign, I had told it is not BJP or its candidates who are contesting, it is the people who are contesting the polls... The word 'wave' is too small to describe the poll results this time," he said.
The BJP leader also remembered the victims of the devastating fire in Surat two days ago, and said he was in a dilemma as to whether he should address such a gathering in the immediate aftermath of the incident that claimed 22 lives.
"Till yesterday, I was in two minds whether to go for this felicitation function or not as on one hand, there was 'kartvya' (duty) and on the other hand, there was 'karuna' (compassion) for those who died in Surat. No amount of words can reduce the grief of the families who have lost their children in that tragedy," he said.
"On the other hand, I had to thank the people of the state and also take blessings of my mother as a duty," the prime minister added.
The function was kept simple in the wake of the tragic incident in Surat, he noted.
Remembering his days as Gujarat chief minister, Modi said though people in other parts of the country did not know him in 2014, they knew Gujarat very well for its development.
"People knew what is Gujarat and how it is ahead on many parameters. The fragrance of Gujarat and its development reached the people before I reached out to them. Gujarat's development was at the core of people's mandate to us in 2014, as people had a feeling that the country would see similar development," he said.
Speaking earlier, BJP president Amit Shah said it was Modi who ended 'gundaraj' (reign of criminals) and corruption in Gujarat as chief minister from 2001 to 2014.
"There is a reason why people reposed immense faith in Narendra bhai. He had visited numerous villages, trained many party workers and finally made Gujarat a BJP fortress. He started Gujarat's journey of development in 2001 and took it to the country after 2014," he said.
"There was a time when Gujarat was known for curfews and riots. People faced difficulty in taking out Rath Yatra (chariot processions taken out by temples). All that vanished after Modi became CM. He ended Gujarat's water problems and provided electricity in rural areas," Shah added.