In a special programme marking the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) 38th foundation day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday interacted with the party’s district presidents from all the units across the country. Modi also interacted with constituency workers in five Parliamentary seats – New Delhi, Delhi North East, Mumbai North Central, Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, and Saran in Bihar.
Modi spoke on a host of topics – from using technology to election strategy. The prime minister also slammed the Opposition and said its "only aim is to defeat Modi".
Modi's "personal connect" with BJP's grassroots functionaries and "keen understanding" of developmental projects were on display during his interaction – through video conferencing – with party workers from five Lok Sabha constituencies and all 734 district presidents on the 'NaMo App'.
NaMo app booths were set up at 20 Assembly segments in the two Lok Sabha constituencies of Delhi. The North East Delhi MP and the president of the state unit of BJP, Manoj Tiwari, and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi participated in the event along with senior party leaders and workers. The MPs of the five Lok Sabha constituencies chosen for the interaction with the Prime Minister were Lekhi (New Delhi), Tiwari (North East Delhi), Anurag Thakur (Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh), Poonam Mahajan (North Central Mumbai), and Rajiv Pratap Rudy (Saran in Bihar).
Here are the top 10 highlights of what Prime Minister Narendra Modi told BJP workers during his interaction:
1) Modi says BJP was born in tough circumstances: Recalling the foundation of the BJP, Modi said the party "was born in the city of Mumbai in extremely tough circumstances". The prime minister said "the BJP and its senior leaders were virtually ostracised from the prevalent political scenario".
"In fact, if there is one party that has consistently been a victim of political untouchability, it is the BJP," added Modi.
2) Modi says BJP has risen to new heights: Modi said that now it was for everyone to see where the BJP was and where those who had treated the party "shabbily" were.
Read about what BJP President Amit Shah had to say on the party's 38th foundation day in Mumbai: Amit Shah likens opposition to 'snakes, mongooses, dogs, cats' (Roundup)
3) Modi says BJP went from 'shunya' to 'shikhar' due to party workers: Modi credited the party's workers’ "stupendous efforts" for the BJP's journey from "shunya" to "shikhar".
"It is our workers who have fulfilled Atal Ji's words – Andhera chhatega, surajniklega, kamal khilega (the darkness will dissipate, the sun will rise, and the lotus will blossom)," said the prime minister, adding, "Our journey is a yatra of dedication of countless selfless workers."
4) Modi says BJP is truly democratic: The prime minister termed the BJP as a party that is "a true believer in democratic ethos". Modi said that in the BJP there are "no divisions, no dynasty politics and no 'I' versus you".
"It is truly democratic and a democratic political party can effectively serve a democratic nation," added Modi.
5) Modi says his regime is a government of the poor: Speaking about the four years of the BJP-led NDA government, Modi said: "Ours is a government fully dedicated to the poor and this is also seen in the working of the various state governments of the BJP." The Prime Minister added that his government's "endeavour is to bring a transformative change in the lives of the poor".
6) Modi says BJP is the most inclusive party: Modi gave a clarion call to BJP workers to keep working for the nation and never get agitated by the "negativity of vested interest groups".
"We are living in a time when the opposition to BJP is at its highest. Sometimes, it also takes a violent turn. This is not because we made a mistake. It is the strength of the BJP that is affecting our opponents," said the prime minister, adding, "They are unable to digest that a poor person born into a backward family is serving as the nation's prime minister. They cannot imagine that when we got the opportunity to elect a president on our own strength, we elected a person belonging to the Dalit community. They cannot imagine that when we got the opportunity to elect a deputy speaker, we selected Suraj Bhan, who belonged to the Dalit community and later Karia Munda, who is a tribal leader."
Modi expressed pride that the BJP has the most Dalit, tribal, and OBC representatives in India, both in Parliament and in the various state Assemblies. He also appealed to BJP workers to never say or do anything that would lower India's political discourse and remain focused on serving the nation.
7) 'BJP's aim is not expansion, it is development': Prime Minister Modi also spoke to a select group of BJP workers based in Delhi, Mumbai, Himachal Pradesh, and Bihar. Pravin Sharma from Himachal Pradesh asked the Prime Minister about the journey of the BJP so far and the way ahead to further strengthen the party. Answering his question, Modi said: "Yes, the situation has changed considerably. Three to four decades ago, our energies were primarily devoted to vistaar (expansion) of the party, whereas now, having got the opportunity to serve several states, the aim has become vikas or development. After the sangharsh (struggle) of yesteryears, we have to also focus on seva (service)." He appealed to BJP workers to embrace the changing circumstances and at the same time work for the common good of society.
8) Modi reiterates 'sabkasaath, sabkavikas': Mamata from Delhi's Mukherji Nagar wanted to know how Modi remained calm in the middle of so much negativity. She wanted the prime minister to share mantras with BJP workers, whom she called election warriors, just like the prime minister did for "exam warriors". Modi told her, "first and foremost, I want to tell you, there is no need for anger. Truth will always triumph. Our way is 'sabkasaath, sabkavikas' and we must remain dedicated to this cause."
He told BJP workers that elections are won or lost at the booth level, which is why it is important to have effective booth management.
9) Modi says Opposition is spreading lies due to BJP's rash of victories: Modi said there were two contrasting moods in the two different alliances in India. He said: "The NDA family is getting jeet after jeet (victory after victory), which is forcing the other parties to spread jhooth after jhooth (lies after lies). Their only aim is to defeat Modi, nothing else."
10) ‘Life incomplete without technology’: Reshma from Mumbai wanted to know about the use of technology, to which the prime minister said: "Life without technology is a life incomplete and we must keep using technology for a better future." He urged BJP workers to get more people to use the BHIM app.
Modi described technology as an effective way to communicate, and communicate the truth. He urged BJP workers to regularly use the various government sites and the Narendra Modi app for latest news about the government's work.
A BJP worker from Bihar asked the prime minister about the four years of the NDA government. To this, Modi said, having been in the Opposition, the BJP knew what issues the people faced. And now, when in the government, "we should work towards those solutions".
Modi appealed to BJP workers to get acquainted with the extensive work done by the NDA government, particularly those schemes that positively impact the poor.
Answering a question from Ravi, a BJP worker based in New Delhi, the prime minister said that every BJP worker had the duty of building a "new and developed India". He requested them to devote themselves to serving society and impacting the lives of people around them. He cited the example of the good work being done in the New Delhi Parliamentary seat, where awareness on waste to health and public health is being spread.
With agency inputs