‘BJP faced more adversities in free India than Cong did under British’
Asserting that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made more sacrifices than any other party, Modi, who laid the foundation stone of the new party headquarters here, said fissiparous forces have become more active as the country’s strength has grown and it is now more imperative to ensure that the society is strengthened and becomes more harmonious.
Underlining his party’s commitment to take everybody along with the motto of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas’, he asked party workers to present to the country and the democratic world an example of how a party “devoted to ideals and devoid of dynasty” functions as the world knows the saffron outfit “not the way it is but based on hearsay”.
“BJP will be the only party which has faced adversities since its birth. It faced difficulties at every turn and its every effort was seen in bad light. “Even during the British times, the Congress party would not have faced so much adversity that we, our dedicated workers have gone through in 50-60 years,” he said at the event attended by top BJP leaders including party chief Amit Shah, L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley among others.
During the recent West Bengal assembly polls, it was difficult for the BJP candidates to even hire an office in Kolkata as anybody willing to given them space would face trouble, he said in an apparent attack on the ruling Trinamool Congress.
“No party has perhaps made more sacrifices than us (BJP) after freedom,” he said, adding that “hundreds of” its workers were killed because they were not associated with the prevalent ideology of those times.
BJP workers do not work for crowd but for organisation as “anybody can collect a crowd by talking about populist issues but what is more important is to stick to ideology”, he said.
In a lighter vain, he said election candidates of no other party would have forfeited more deposits than those of BJP as they kept fighting for their ideology irrespective of the results. Modi used the occasion to congratulate grappler Sakshi Malik for bringing glory to the country by winning a bronze medal in the Rio Olympics.
Noting the global research bodies began studying Jana Sangh, the BJP’s forerunner, when it came to power in Madhya Pradesh in 1969, Modi said, “The world was surprised again over how much we had grown when the government of Vajpayee ji was formed. They tried to know about us from others, so they could never understand us correctly. The world’s curiosity has arisen again now.”
Ruing the lack of recorded materials like photographs about important events associated with party leaders through its history, he said it is the need of the time to record everything related to the organisation’s activities.
Stressing on party leaders’ commitment to ideology, Modi said rival parties would certainly have thought that they will be served well if likes of L K Advani, Atal Bihari Vajpayee or Murli Manohar Joshi joined them, but these leaders decided to live for ideals.
The Prime Minister said that training workers of the party in its ideology and work culture is a challenge with its membership growing to over 11 crore and added that its new headquarters, which will be equipped with modern communication and recorded history of the organisation and its leaders, will play a role in its future success.
“This party has not grown due to some leader, prime minister or chief minister but due to its lakhs of dedicated workers,” he said, adding that the new office spread across two acres will not be dedicated to political interests but national interests. The construction of this office is not merely about a building but it will smell of the sweat of party workers, he said.
PM has denigrated entire freedom struggle: Congress
Enraged Congress party has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “forthwith apologise” to the nation over his statement on Thursday. The party’s Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “The Prime Minister has humiliated and denigrated the entire freedom struggle of India. Coming from the Prime Minister, this is unacceptable. We will not tolerate it.”
“He should withdraw the statement and he should forthwith apologies to the nation,” he added. Taking a dig at BJP and the Sangh Parivar, Surjewala alleged that Modi has “disowned” the freedom struggle and “belittled” the sacrifices of freedom fighters as the ruling party did not participate in the movement for independence.
“Neither BJP nor RSS or the predecessor organisation of BJP participated in the freedom struggle. They actually supported the British,” he added. His reaction came close on the heels of the Prime Minister’s remarks that BJP has faced more adversities in independent India as compared to what Congress would have during the British rule.