Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked his party workers not to get distracted by “irrelevant” issues raked up by the opposition and said their sole focus should be to move ahead with government’s mantra of development.
If tough nationalist discourse was the highlight of party chief Amit Shah’s address and the political resolution adopted by the meeting, Modi chose to dwell on his government’s works, saying the party has always taken up the cause of nationalism and now is the time for development. “We should not engage in irrelevant issues. We should work on our agenda. Our rivals will try that we remain engaged in irrelevant issues and the government’s work is not discussed among the people. “We should move ahead with one mantra: vikas, vikas, vikas. This is the answer to our country’s all problems and we are working in this direction. Change is happening and the wheel of progress is moving fast. The party and government are working shoulder to shoulder,” Modi said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh briefed reporters about the Prime Minister’s address, which was not open to the media, and said Modi told the audience that a lot of work was done in the 22 months the party has been in power and no allegation of corruption has been levelled against it. In an apparent dig at opposition parties, Modi cautioned party workers against those who are not happy with the government’s “unprecedented” development works, saying they will rake up futile issues to make things difficult for them. “You should remain unaffected.”
Asked about what Modi spoke on nationalism, a issue that has dominated the two-day meet, Singh said, “He (Modi) said nationalism is our strength… We have alsways done agitation on the issue of nationalism and moved forward. Now time has come for development. There is a need for development.” Highlighting the government’s schemes, like providing LPG connection to the poor, electrification of over 6500 villages so far and disbursement of Mudra loans to lakhs of people, he asked party workers to reach out to the beneficiaries.
Earlier, moving the political resolution, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu hailed Modi as a “God’s gift to India” but Singh insisted that it was not part of political resolution. A statement from the Naidu’s office had attributed the remarks to him in which he also called the Prime Minister messiah for the poor.
The party also announced that Modi will go to Dalit icon Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s birthplace in Madhya Pradesh on his birth anniversary on April 14, a move also likely aimed at wooing crucial Dalit votes ahead of UP assembly election early next year. Modi also praised the BJP’s organisational growth and said now there is a need for “capacity building” among party workers so that they could play a robust role in building the nation. There was a need for them to engage with constructive government works like ‘swachh bharat’ and ‘beti padhao, beti bachao’.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, Modi said he connected people with the freedom movement by taking up their causes. Hailing the budget, he asked party leaders to publicise its smaller highlights, like the provision of allowing small shops to remain open seven days a week. Speaking about the government’s ongoing work to provide 18,500 villages to electricity, he said the party should go to the newly-electrified villages and celebrate ‘urja utsav’ with the beneficiaries. He also emphasised on the use of technology, saying it is a tool for development. Shah in his remarks announced that the party would observe between April 14, Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, and April 24, Panchayati Raj day, various programmes across the country focusing on the weaker sections and farmers.
Modi will also address a meeting of panchayat representatives on April 24, Rajnath Singh said. Union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar and Narendra Singh Tomar also made presentations about their ministry’s works at the meet.