PUTTING out a short video featuring speeches of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani, besides those of him and Amit Shah, Narendra Modi on Saturday paid homage to BJP workers across the country on the party’s foundation day and said the BJP “stands tall due to its democratic ethos”.
In his tweets, the Prime Minister also said the BJP had a “patriotic zeal” adding, “This is a party that is always on the ground, at the forefront of helping fellow Indians. Our development work has endeared the party to all sections of society.”
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Addressing a rally in Odisha’s Sundergarh district later, Modi said the party was built neither on family nor on money but on the sweat of its workers over generations. “Untalis varsh pehle, aaj hi ke din, sabse badey rajnitik sangathan yaani hum sab ke dil main basi Bhajpa ka gathan hua tha… BJP isliye vishesh hai kyunki yeh party na toh dhanbal se bani hai aur na hi baahubal se bani hai… Na hi baahar se udhari li gayi vichardhara se bani hai… Bharatiya sabhyata aur sanskriti main rachi-basi hai… (39 years ago, on this very day, the BJP was created. The BJP is special because it is not built on money or power or borrowed ideology from outside. It is based on this country’s values),” he said.
Paying respects to former party leaders and founding members such as Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Kushabhau Thakre, Vajpayee, Advani, Jagannath Rao Joshi, Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajmata Scindia as well as BJP veterans from Odisha such as Debendra Pradhan, Debendra Mohaptra, Biswabhushan Harichandan and Bikram Keshari, Modi said former PM Vajpayee used to tell party workers, “One foot in rail, one foot in jail” — meaning that workers must be continuously touring and meeting people, even if it meant their fight for development and justice led them to prison.
Modi’s speech came two days after Advani released a blog ostensibly timed to the party’s foundation day and directed at the current leadership, where he said the BJP never treated its rivals as enemies or anti-nationals.