Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that the ruling party has faced more adversities in independent India than what the Congress suffered under the British rule.
Modi’s remarks were an attempt to turn the tables on the Opposition, which has claimed that the right-wing party played no role in country’s freedom movement.
The Prime Minister cited instances of BJP workers being killed and the problems the party faced in opening an office in West Bengal to buttress his arguments.
Laying the foundation stone of the party’s new headquarters here, Modi claimed the BJP made more sacrifices than any other party and credited party workers for the place it has attained in India’s political history. “This party has not grown due to some leader, Prime Minister or chief minister but due to its lakhs of dedicated workers,” he said.
Speaking at the same function, BJP president Amit Shah called Modi the “world’s most popular leader”. “We all under Modi’s leadership have decided that this golden era of BJP is not our peak. We should not be satisfied with our today’s successes and have to grow beyond it,” he said
The Prime Minister’s remarks drew sharp reaction from the Congress, which asked him to “forthwith apologise” to the nation. “The Prime Minister has humiliated and denigrated the entire freedom struggle of India. Coming from the Prime Minister, this is unacceptable. We will not tolerate it,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
Taking a dig at the BJP and Sangh Parivar, Surjewala alleged that Modi had “disowned” the freedom struggle and “belittled” the sacrifices of freedom fighters since the ruling party did not take part in the independence movement.