Addressing hundreds of BJP youth workers at the Yuva Udghosh meet in Varanasi, party national president Amit Shah on Saturday said BJP “was not a party of caste and identity politics, but of karyakartas (workers)”.
The meet, touted as a bugle call for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, was organised at the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidhyapeet’s sports grounds. Chaired by Shah and CM Yogi Adityanath, it was aimed at bringing together new youth members (“yuva shakti”) from PM Narendra Modi’s constituency and acquainting them with the party’s work culture.
The turnout, however, was not as expected, said organisers. “Invites for the initiation ceremony were sent to the 17,000-odd new youth members who joined BJP through its online registration portal, and roughly 10,000 were expected to attend. But only 3,000 turned up because proper arrangements were not made to bring them to the venue,” said Abhisheel Jaiswal, a youth leader from the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha and one of the organisers. “Several such meets with women, businessmen and other communities are scheduled in Varanasi beginning today. We were told preparations for the 2019 general elections officially begin today for the BJP,” he added.
Sharing the stage with various MLAs from Varanasi, Shah and Adityanath vaunted the idea of BJP being not just “the world’s largest political party” with 11 crore members ruling over 19 states, but a “movement for a New India”.