Published On: Fri, Apr 6th, 2018

On Foundation Day, BJP vows to return in 2019, attacks opposition

New Delhi: The BJP on Friday celebrated its 38th Foundation Day across the country, exhorting its cadres to ensure party’s return to power in 2019 and used the occasion to attack opposition parties, especially the Congress, mocking its efforts to forge a grand alliance for their “survival”.

The BJP is a big platform for national unity

On the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the “heroic service and sacrifice” of millions of party workers and acknowledged their “efforts” to bolster its reach.

“For BJP, the ‘Karyakartas’ are everything. They are the heart and soul of the party, whose sweat has taken the party to new heights. It is due to their efforts that we have the honour to serve people all over India and fulfil their aspirations,” Modi said.

“The BJP is the party of a ‘New India’. We are privileged to receive the blessings of people of all age groups, across all sections of society. We are a party that believes in India’s diversity, our unique culture and, above all, the strengths of 125 crore Indians,” he added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), earlier known as Jana Sangh, came into being on this day in 1980.

Amit Shah, the party President, launched party’s election campaign for the 2019 elections in Mumbai, while union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani and Ravi Shankar Prasad exhorted party workers in Lucknow, Kolkata and New Delhi, respectively.

Addressing a rally in Mumbai, Shah urged party workers to help achieve Prime Minister Modi’s dream of New India.

He said the countdown to the Lok Sabha elections had begun and called upon all activists to fan out to each village to highlight the Modi government’s achievements.

“We don’t want to fight the next elections on slogans or empty poll promises but on the basis of the government’s achievements. We should take a pledge to ensure a BJP win in the 2019 elections,” he said.

Mocking efforts at forging opposition unity before the next general elections, he said: “When there is a flood, all creatures climb to one spot for survival.

“The political flood unleashed by (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi has made all these snakes, mongooses, dogs and cats join together and unitedly contest the 2019 elections against him,” he said.

As the controversy erupted over Shah’s comparison of opposition parties with animals, he backtracked his remarks, saying that “political parties with differing ideologies have united because of the fear of Modi”, noting animals like snake and mongoose never come together.

Attacking Rahul Gandhi, the BJP chief said he has been given an “injection” by (NCP President) Sharad Pawar, so now he is going around asking “what Modi has done in the past four years?

“Rahul Baba, we want to ask you — what did your party do when it was in power for four generations? The people want to know.”

In Delhi, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hit out at the Congress and other rival political parties opposed to its ideology and said in its journey spanning 38 years, the ruling party has emerged as a “big platform for national unity”.

“The BJP is a big platform for national unity. It has one voice, one slogan and one commitment — to make the country a super power. Today, the BJP is a party of all Indians with an all-India presence,” Prasad said.

Recalling former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s lines that “the cloud will go away, the sun will come up, and lotus will bloom”, he said that the BJP at present rules the country with a clear majority and with its allies, it is ruling in 21 of the 29 states.

The Minister took a jibe at Rahul Gandhi, saying if one has to grow in Indian politics, one has to embrace the country’s soil, its culture and tradition.

“Regardless of potential or talent, the top party leadership can go to a family only. I am not taking anyone’s name, but the hint is clear,” Prasad said.

He said broadly, three categories of people opposed the BJP — the Leftist, the Congress and “chronic socialists other than Ram Manohar Lohia”.

“The BJP bashing has been a part of India’s politics — be it Nehruji or Indiraji or leftists. See, where those who criticised us are today and where we are today. Our commitment was clear that we wanted to make the country a super power.”

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman taunted the Congress saying a party that muzzled freedom in the country during the emergency should not preach about democracy to the BJP.

“Congress is in a state of shock and it is out of this that words like ideology are coming from them,” Sitharaman said, added that it was strange and ironical that a party which gave birth to dictatorship in the country is talking of “values and ideology”.

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