Urging his party to work relentlessly for the socio-economic transformation of society, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said the BJP should address the concerns of Muslim women not by creating conflict, but through discussions. Modi also said the proposed new constitutional body for the socially and educationally backward would benefit backward classes among all communities, including Muslims.
“When we refer to social justice, it means Muslims should also get justice. No injustice to anyone. But it should not be done by creating conflict, but we should try and get justice for all through dialogue,” Union Minister Nitin Gadkari quoted the Prime Minister as having said in his speech concluding the BJP’s two-day national executive.
Modi’s reference to justice in the Muslim community is being seen as his intervention in the ongoing debate over triple talaq. He is learnt to have said that several Muslim women were victims of triple talaq, and the party should reach out to them. “If Muslim women want to fight this, (BJP) workers should stand by them,” the PM was quoted as saying by a BJP leader.
Sources said that earlier in the day, intervening during a discussion in the national executive over the proposed constitutional status for the National Commission for Backward Communities, Modi said the new body would be beneficial not just for backwards among Hindus, but among all communities, including Muslims.
The National Executive has passed a resolution hailing Modi and his government for bringing the Bill to give constitutional status to the commission for backward communities, a move seen as part of the BJP’s effort to keep backward communities with it.
Modi, who was addressing party workers for the first time after the recent Assembly election victories, spoke at length about the ideal conduct of a party worker. Dealing with victory and maintaining balance would be tougher than handling defeat, because one becomes vulnerable in the former situation, he said, and warned that the repeated victories must not be allowed to go to their heads.
“He (the PM) said the Opposition would keep manufacturing issues for you. They keep raising the issue of intolerance. They manufacture issues like the attacks on churches ahead of the last Delhi election, returning of the awards ahead of the Bihar polls, and now they raise allegations of tampering of EVMs. You don’t need to pay any attention to such manufactured issues. Keep focusing on the spirit of our work,” Gadkari said.
According to a source, the PM has strictly told workers not to be “motormouths” — if there are issues that need to be addressed, they should try to talk to leaders in their respective areas. The PM also told party leaders that they should “learn the art of keeping quiet”, the source said.
Modi described Amit Shah as the BJP’s “Chanakya”, the economist, teacher, philosopher, jurist and adviser to emperor Chandragupta Maurya. Shah, Modi said, had put in huge effort to strengthen the party across the country in what has become a case study for political pundits.
While Shah in his inaugural address on Saturday maintained that the party would have its golden era only when it wins all states and transforms the country at all levels, Modi on Sunday said the BJP should see that the “country takes a long jump and transform society” by 2022, the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence.
A new India — where political vision is based on Jandhan, Vandhan and Jaldhan — must be created, the PM said. The slogans will be P2 (Pro-people Pro-active) and G2 (Good Governance), he told party leaders.
“We have to build a nation where we can ensure social and economic equality and where no discrimination will be made on the basis of caste status,” the PM was quoted saying.
Citing Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts to build the momentum for the freedom struggle from the 1920s to 1942, Modi asked BJP leaders to build an atmosphere for change through the Deendayal Upadhyay Garib Kalyan Yojana. The political resolution passed by the conclave also talked about the government’s pro-poor initiatives.
The meeting passed a special resolution felicitating the PM for the Constitution amendment Bill to provide constitutional status to the NCBC. It slammed the Congress and other Opposition parties for “delaying” the Bill — which was passed by Lok Sabha, but had to be referred to a Select Committee in Rajya Sabha where the NDA lacks majority.
“The BJP has always been committed towards building a society where everyone has equal opportunities and nobody is treated inferior… Justice needs to be delivered to every citizen without any bias or prejudice,” the resolution said.
It said that with the BJP taking steps to bring equality, the Congress and other parties were disappointed. “These parties have always suppressed the interest of the backward classes of the society and only gave them false hopes,” the resolution said the Congress stand in Rajya Sabha showed its “real attitude towards the backward classes”.
The resolution urged party workers to “take a pledge and make efforts towards making backwards aware about their constitutional and legal rights”.