Just 400 days before the next Parliamentary elections in 2024, when he would be trying for a hat-trick, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on January 17, donned a statesman-type persona and urged Karyakartas to give “every ounce of your hard work” to serve the people and the nation.
“We have to create history….” he said.
He mainly made it a point to reach out to tribals, people from the Northeast region and also religious minorities, both Christians and Muslims, and Sikhs outside Punjab.
PM said till marginalised sections are “mainstreamed”, India’s Development Yatra will not be complete.
“…. even a community that does not vote for the BJP should also have faith in the governance model and be assured that their concerns will not go unheard…. This is what the PM underlined,” one source said.
In his address to the BJP National Executive, which was a precursor to the party’s preparedness for assembly polls in nine States across India in 2023, the Prime Minister urged party workers to conduct ‘BJP Se Jodo Abhiyaan’ (Connect with BJP campaign).
“As we tried to remove gender inequality through Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, the same way we have to listen to the call of our Mother Earth,” he said regarding climate change issues. He referred to the ill effects of fertilisers and chemicals. He asked BJP workers to work together to inform farmers and raise awareness about alternatives such as natural and chemical-free farming.
India is currently in its “best era” (Sarvottam Kaal), he said and maintained “we should dedicate ourselves to its Development”.
PM Modi said the BJP is no longer a political party since it has evolved into a social movement. “Every moment of your life and every ounce of your hard work should be spent serving the people,” the Prime Minister said on the final day of the two-day national executive meeting.
BJP national president J P Nadda was given an extension of tenure till the completion of Lok Sabha polls, and he would be Party Chief till June 2024.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis quoted PM Modi as saying, “The BJP workers have to build a rapport with all sections of the society with sensitivity…If there is a deficiency, then it has to be tackled. But while doing all this, don’t worry about the votes…whether someone votes or not, if we work for people, they will come along”.
Leaders from North-East told ‘Organiser’ that the Prime Minister also urged BJP Karyakartas in big metros to involve themselves more with religious minorities, especially tribals, working or students from the northeast. The party workers have also been urged to visit churches.
Modi reportedly said that some minorities or Muslims “vote for us or not”. The saffron party should reach out to educated Muslims. He especially mentioned party workers’ duties towards Pasmanda and Bohra Muslims who are backward in their communities.
“…. there are also good people in the Muslim Community, and we must reach out to them,” the Prime Minister said. He suggested that Karyakartas could enlist the help of popular Shaayars (poets) to connect with Muslim voters.
“The PM’s address was inspiring; it gave direction and showed the way for the future. The Prime Minister said the Amrit Kaal should be transformed into Kartavya Kaal (Time for duty), then only will the country move towards progress,” Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Fadnavis said.
The PM said party workers, especially in poll-bound States, should hit the ground running and not be complacent. The work that they usually do to ensure policy implementation and the reach of benefits should be carried out much before canvassing starts.
“This will allow them to forge connections with the people in a non-political way,” a party insider said. “We have 400 days (until the Lok Sabha elections) and we have to do everything in the service of the people. We have to create history,” Fadnavis quoted the PM as saying.