Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)

BJP does not believe in political untouchability, says PM Modi

In his address to BJP lawmakers on the death anniversary of party ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, the PM said, “Politics for us is the means to achieve a national policy. As I said earlier, the government may run with a majority, but nations are run with consensus”
UPDATED ON FEB 11, 2021 02:07 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not believe in political untouchability and his government has honoured even its critics for their role in nation building. He underlined the need for consensus in the polity. Modi said while numbers are needed to form the government, the country is run on consensus.

“Politics for us is the means to achieve a national policy. As I said earlier, the government may run with a majority, but nations are run with consensus,” he said in his address to BJP lawmakers on the death anniversary of the party’s ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. “The idea of political untouchability is not in our culture. The country has rejected this idea. In our party, importance is given to the worker even as we reject dynasty.”

Modi said BJP’s critics such as late former President Pranab Mukherjee, former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and Nagaland’s S C Jamir have been honoured for their contribution to nation building. Mukherjee was given the highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, Gogoi and Jamir have also been awarded Padma Bhushan, the third-highest. “They were neither part of the BJP nor even allies of the party. But it was our duty to honour their contributions,” said Modi.

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Modi said differences with political opponents should not come in the way of extending courtesy and respect. He said freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was given the honour he deserved and tribute was paid to the country’s first home minister, Vallabhbhai Patel, by getting the world’s tallest statue made for him in Gujarat. “...Baba Saheb [Bhimrao] Ambedkar [the architect of the Constitution] got the Bharat Ratna [in 1990] when a government was formed with the BJP’s support,” Modi said.

Earlier this week, Modi made an emotional speech in the Rajya Sabha when three of the four opposition lawmakers retired. Modi, while bidding farewell to the Leader of the opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, broke down while recalling his response to a terror attack.

Modi said the BJP has imbibed the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi--love and compassion.

On self-reliance, Modi, who has earlier given the slogan of “vocal for local”, said the lawmakers must take stock of the things that they use to assess how many of these are made abroad. “The entire country is awakened to the idea of Aatma Nirbhaya Bharat [self-reliant India]. We are on the verge of reaching 75 years of independence. I call upon every one of you to carry out 75 tasks that serve society as a tribute to our 75 years of Independence.”

Modi said transformational changes were taking place in the field of infrastructure to make the lives of citizens easier. He spoke about the growing volume of digital transactions and said India is witnessing changes in every sphere including defence with the focus on made in India weapons and fighters like Tejas.

“In 1965 during the India-Pakistan war, India had to depend on other countries for weapons... Deendayalji said at that time that we have to build an India that is self-reliant not just in agriculture but also in defence and weaponry. We took the decisions that were deemed difficult in the country and we took them with everyone.”

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