BJP is not an election-winning machine: PM Modi on party’s foundation day
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not an election-winning machine, but is on a continuous and relentless campaign to win hearts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, speaking on the occasion of the party’s 41st foundation day. He also lashed out at regional parties and said the mask of “fake secularism” that they wear is now coming off.
Taking a swipe at opponents who dub the BJP an election-winning machine, he said when other parties win elections, the party and the leaders are feted but in the case of the BJP, electoral wins are “perceived with double standards”.
“Those who say we are an election-winning machine cannot understand the maturity of the Indian democracy and the intelligence of the voters; they cannot understand the hopes and aspirations of the Indian voters. The BJP is not an election-winning machine, but is on a continuous, relentless campaign to win hearts,” the PM said.
Addressing party workers, the PM said the BJP has ensured last-mile delivery of its people-centric policies and has taken into account the aspirations of the marginalised sections that were not at the centre of programmes initiated by previous governments.
For the first time the yardstick has changed and the governments are evaluated on the basis of policies (neeti), intent (neeyat) and last-mile delivery, he said.
“We serve the people faithfully whether in the government or not; we are connected with the people. We do not take pride that our party won; we take pride that the people of this country made us win,” he said.
Taking another dig at regional satraps that have become “dynastic parties”, he said the parties that emerged as representatives of regional aspirations have now become “family-controlled” parties.
“In this (BJP) party, workers toil hard and thousands of workers have made sacrifices...In Kerala and in West Bengal our workers are threatened, attacked and their families are also not spared… but they are steadfast in their resolve to live and die for the country, this is the uniqueness of the BJP workers. On the other hand, you have seen what happens to family and dynasty-oriented politics. The parties that talked about regional aspirations have eventually become a family-owned parties and the results are here for all to see. These parties wore a fake mask of secularism which is now being taken off,” he said.
While the BJP’s opponents have accused it of not protecting the rights of the minorities and indulging in communal polarisation, the PM said secularism had been transformed to mean policies according to the vote bank and favours only for a few. “Those who makes policies and programmes for everyone and speak about the rights of all are called communal; but Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas has begun to change these definitions,” he said.
Reiterating that the country is above all, he said the BJP has never compromised on its values and on issues of national security. “We saw how the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government accepted loss of power by one vote but did not compromise. Our workers suffered during the emergency,” he said.
Cautioning workers against “narratives” that seek to create political instability in the country, he cited the examples of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the farm and labour laws. The PM was referring to the protests that erupted when Parliament passed the bill to fast track citizenship for persecuted minorities from the neighbouring countries and the bill to bring changes in the farm laws.
“I want to take your attention towards a very grave challenge; you would have seen the system of creating narratives has started. [Whether it is] with regard to CAA or the farm laws or the labour laws, every worker should understand that there is politics behind this and a big conspiracy. This means there is an attempt to create political instability in the country, therefore all rumours are being spread, fears are being stoked and lies are being told. Imaginary fears are being created; sometimes it is said that the Constitution will be changed, sometimes that reservation will be withdrawn; sometimes they say citizenship will be withdrawn and sometimes they say farmers’ lands will be taken… all of these are lies but some people and organisations spread them with speed . You need to be alert and with complete information keep going back to the people and create awareness among the people,” the PM said.
He said the work of creating fear and wrong narratives is the handiwork of those “who cannot accept their defeat and do this for their own political benefit”.
The PM also urged the party members to be humble as the party grows in number and political heft.
“We are moving ahead, taking along every region and community, we are everywhere. We are a party of national interest as well as regional aspirations. We do not believe in political untouchability,” he said.
He cited how the BJP government paid tributes to Sardar Patel and BR Amedkar and did not refrain from awarding civil awards even to political opponents.