Updated: April 7, 2021 5:57:55 am
MARKING THE BJP’s 41st Foundation Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday hit out at those who call the party a mere “election winning machine” and accused them of adopting “double standards”. He also warned party workers against what he called “false narratives” on the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), farm laws and labour laws ïn order to “create political instability”.
Modi described the BJP as a “continuous and relentless campaign to win the hearts of the people in the country”.
“We see these double standards,” Modi said during a video address to BJP workers on the day of polling in four states and one Union Territory.
“If BJP wins elections, it is said that the party is an election winning machine. But when others win, the party is credited and its leaders are praised… Those who say that the BJP is an election winning machine do not understand the robustness of Indian democracy, they are not able to measure the intelligence of its voters. It’s beyond their understanding. They will never be able to understand the aspirations and dreams of Indian voters. The truth is that BJP is not an election winning machine, but it’s a continuous and relentless campaign to win the hearts,” Modi said.
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Cautioning against “false narratives” on the BJP-led Central Government’s initiatives, Modi said: “Today, false narratives are made… sometimes with CAA, sometimes on farm laws and sometimes with labour laws. Every BJP worker has to understand that there is a well-calculated politics behind it and there is a big conspiracy behind it.”
He said: “Their purpose is to create political instability in the country. Therefore various rumours are spread in the country, confusion is created. They say that the Constitution will be changed, that reservation will be quashed and sometimes they say that the farmers’ land will be snatched. These are all lies.”
The CAA, which seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis, but not Muslims, who entered the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan until December 31, 2014, had triggered widespread protests across the country.
The Government also came under fire for its farm reform initiatives with an ongoing agitation by farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana who are seeking a repeal, entering its fifth month.
The Centre’s three new labour codes — Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2020, Code on Social Security Bill, 2020, and Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill, 2020 – have been criticised as a move to water down labour rights.
Modi said that “these lies were spread” by those “could not accept their defeat, some for political gains and there are others who are against BJP”. The Prime Minister asked his party workers to be alert against such “fake narratives” by being in the midst and constantly in touch with people because they create “long-lasting damage to the country”.
In an apparent reference to parties like DMK, which is locked in a poll tussle with the AIADMK-BJP alliance in Tamil Nadu, Modi said parties that were created out of the “local aspirations and apprehensions” have now become “family parties”.
“However, the garb of secularism they have been donning is wearing off. Secularism has been made into a ploy to make schemes and favours for a certain set of people and for vote bank politics. They do not get tired of calling the parties that work for everyone as communal. But this is changing now with the BJP’s sabka saath, sabka vishwas and sabka vishwas,” he said.
According to Modi, the face of the BJP that is visible in the public and media is just a “tip of the iceberg” and its larger chunk is hidden and working on the ground, winning the hearts of people by working for them. “Because of them, the BJP is the largest party in the world. Because of them, people realise that the BJP is the right party for the interests of the nation,” he said.
Referring to the Padma awards “honouring unknown people”, Modi said it is a reflection of the BJP’s “culture and style of functioning”.
Earlier, the Prime Minister began his speech by paying tributes to party leaders such as Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Kushabhau Thakre, Vijaya Raje Scindia and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He also credited the contributions of leaders like L K Advani. “The BJP has always worked on the mantra of ‘the party is bigger than the individual’ and the ‘nation is bigger than the party’,” he said.
At party headquarters in Delhi, meanwhile, BJP president J P Nadda paid floral tributes to its founding leaders — Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyay.
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