PM Modi puts focus back on poor and Dalits at BJP’s national conclave in Kerala
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday listed out an eight-point “sankalp” (resolve) to transform India in the 21st century, a statement also aimed at renewing focus on the poor to whom he dedicated his government after coming to power in 2014.
In Kozhikode to attend the party’s national conclave, Modi coined slogans to eliminate many ills confronting the country: “Bharat aisa jo garibi se mukt ho, samridhi se yukt ho; bhed bhav se mukt ho, samanata se yukt ho; anyaya se mukt ho, nyaya se yukt ho.” He listed out his objectives to a cheering crowd to free the country of poverty, discrimination, injustice, filth, corruption, unemployment, atrocities against women and despair.
He sold an idea of India that was full of prosperity, equality, justice, cleanliness, transparency, employment, respect for women and hope. “The poor is central to every step of ours,” Modi said, adding that the government has decided to observe the next year as Garib Kalyan Varsha (year of the welfare of poor).
His words come a day ahead of the formal launch of the birth centenary celebration of party ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhayay, who espoused the idea of Antyodaya — the uplift of the poorest of poor.
With Upadhyay as the face of the outreach to poor, Modi and the BJP also aim to counter opposition charge about the ruling party being pro-rich and anti-Dalit.
Early next year, the BJP will go to polls in five states — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. These are high-stake battles and the voting pattern of the marginalised sections of the society, such as Dalits and tribals, will decide the outcome of the election. The BJP’s outreach to poor also takes into account the party’s requirement in these states.