Protests against CAA, farm laws part of a conspiracy: PM on BJP’s foundation day
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday warned Bharatiya Janata Party workers against “a system of narratives” being created around decisions of the central government “as part of a conspiracy”.
In his address to BJP workers on the party’s 41st foundation day, the PM said that the people who call the party “an election-winning machine” do not understand the maturity of the Indian democracy.
Referring to protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, new farm laws and labour laws, the PM said, “[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.”
Protests erupted across the country after Parliament passed the CAA to fast-track the citizenship process for non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in 2019.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting since November last year against the three farm laws passed in September.
Alleging that there is an attempt to create political instability in the country, the PM said, “…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 Sometimes it is said that the Constitution will be changed, sometimes that reservation will be withdrawn. Sometimes they say citizenship will be withdrawn and sometimes they say farmers’ lands will be taken…”
He blamed those “who cannot accept their defeat” for creating fear and wrong narratives for political benefit.
Modi said when other parties win elections, they and their leaders are feted. He added 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,” he said.
“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, adding that secularism has been transformed to mean policies according to the vote banks and favours only for a few.
“Those who make 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.
He said the parties that talked about regional aspirations have become family-owned parties. “These parties wore a fake mask of secularism which is now being taken off,” he said.
Modi’s comments came on the day of polling to elect 475 assembly members across four states — West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Assam — and Union territory of Puducherry.
Reacting to the PM’s speech, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, “...The criticism of the so-called new BJP of Modi and Shah is that in its blind search for electoral victory, it has jettisoned all norms of fair play, inclusiveness, political magnanimity and political ethics.”
Political commentator Ajay Kumar Jha said since 2014, the BJP under Modi has been challenging the established narrative. “The national narrative is being challenged by the BJP under Modi’s leadership and that is getting a very aggressive reaction from the established socio-political and intellectual groups. They have not been able to accept the changes in terms of the BJP’s rise and therefore find a negative connotation to the party’s electoral performance.”