Following an extension of his position as the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Amit Shah attacked the Congress and rejected outright the chances of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ sweeping the 2019 Lok Sabha elections calling the grand alliance an “eyewash”.

Addressing a gathering of BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the first day of the two-day National Executive of the party in New Delhi on Saturday, Shah accused the Congress of “breaking India” while the BJP was focussed on “making India”.

Attacking former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his critical comments on Friday against the Modi government’s performance, Shah said “Manmohan Singh follows his party, while Modi leads. That is the difference.”

He also told the party workers to counter the “misinformation being spread about the economy by P Chidambaram and company through facts and figures”.

Briefing the media after the address of the party chief, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Shah told party workers to counter the “misinformation being spread about the economy by P Chidambaram and co. through facts and figures”.

“The talk of mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) is eyewash based on falsehood. It is not going to make any difference in 2019 because we have fought against each and every opposition party in 2014. We are not bothered about it,” the BJP president was quoted as saying by Sitharaman.

She said that Shah has urged the government to grant refuge to members of the minority communities –Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christain or Jain – from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangaldesh without hesitation and added that the BJP would move forward with strong determination to implement the National Register of Citizens.

He gave the message that the party was keen to win the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to which list has been added Telangana, where the Assembly has been dissolved.

Shah said the party was in power already in 19 states where it was sure of doing well in the Lok Sabha elections.

“West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana and other states where the BJP was in second position in 2014, we need to take advantage of anti-incumbency there. We will also perform better in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Shah said the BJP would contest the next Lok Sabha polls on the plank of its performance and organisational strength and form a government with a bigger mandate than in 2014.

“On the issue of urban Naxalites, BJP Chief Amit Shah spoke about Congress party that does vote bank politics on it and he also appreciated Maharashtra government and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis (for the police action),” said Sitharaman.

The BJP chief also slammed the Congress for its “hypocrisy” over women’s rights.

“Many Islamic countries have cleared triple talaq and it’s not an issue in those countries. But here in Rajya Sabha the Bill is stuck due to Congress’ hypocritical behaviour. We have to pass it,” he was quoted as saying by Sitharaman.

Earlier today, the BJP deferred its organisational elections to allow Shah to lead the party till 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Shah was appointed BJP President in July 2014. He was elected unopposed as the party president on 24 January 2016 for a second term, which would have ended on 26 January 2019.