New Delhi: Amid strains in the ruling NDA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he had succeeded in taking the coalition along “in the best possible way”, emphasising that it could happen because democracy is in the “roots and veins” of the BJP.
The prime minister’s remarks came during an address on the occasion of the inauguration of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) new headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg here, attended among others by several union ministers and former party presidents including L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.
“In multiparty democratic set-up, the politics of alliance is natural. Making and breaking of an alliance due to personal interests is something different. In coalition, the practice of moving together with allies is necessary.
“The BJP under Atalji (former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee) successfully did this experiment. Such an attempt was also made in 1967 by Samyukta Vidhayak Dal but it could not succeed.
“We succeeded because democracy is in our roots, convention and veins. Due to this, we are successful in carrying the coalition in its best possible way and we are moving ahead,” Modi said.
Modi’s remarks assume importance in the wake of recent murmurs of discontent within the BJP-led NDA. The Telugu Desam Party and the Shiv Sena, two NDA partners, are at loggerheads with the BJP over several issues.
The prime minister also recalled the contributions of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Advani and Sunder Singh Bhandari in building the party and said the roots of democracy deepened in the party due to their style of functioning and teachings.
“I remember the days when Advaniji used to study the organisational democratic set-up. Bhandariji used to focus on running the party constitutionally. We got such leadership. Due to these, there is 100 per cent democracy in us. In thoughts, in actions and in implementation the BJP’s core is truly democratic,” he said.
Modi said the BJP got the opportunity to serve the people and the teachings by the leaders on democracy helped him in running the government with the values of “sabka saath, sabka vikas”.
He said forming a political party was not tough in India and the beauty of a democratic set-up lay in the multiparty system.
“There are several parties with their own views, ideologies and working. The fact that there are several parties in the nation adds to the beauty of democracy in India.”
Recalling the BJP’s journey which began with the Jan Sangh, Modi said the party could reach to this level because of the sacrifices made by the workers. He said the Jan Sangh and BJP leaders have been at the forefront of all leading mass movements after Independence.
“Ours is a party committed to ‘Rashtra Bhakti’. The Jana Sangh and the BJP led all movements after independence. We are proud of it. Our party is dyed in the colour of patriotism. It became a party which struggles and sacrifices for national interest.”
About the new building, Modi urged the party workers to feel proud to say “ye mera karyalay hai” (this is my office) because “karyakartas” are the soul of the headquarters.
“This is not a place for personal political ambitions but a sacred place for the fulfilment of aspirations of crores of people.”
BJP president Amit Shah said the party became much stronger due to the way Modi worked and benefited the people after its victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll.
“In 2014, people expressed their confidence in Modiji by electing a government with full majority. After that, the way Modiji ran the country and the way its (government’s) fragrance reached the people, the party became much stronger,” Shah said.
He added that the party organisation also worked hard to spread the government’s message among the masses.
“Modi has a popularity ... a certain stature in the people’s minds... party workers have helped to give it a status. That is why we are ruling in 19 states,” Shah said.
Recalling the sacrifices of the party leaders, he said the party cadres need to achieve new heights in the coming days.
“Modiji has given us a call of New India. Political parties may be in the fray for winning elections and forming governments but for the BJP winning elections is not the only goal. I believe all the party workers would work in this direction,” he said.
The BJP chief said in a year all the district headquarters of the party would be constructed and will be connected with the central office.
The 170,000-square-foot office is equipped with modern facilities of Wi-Fi, live video conferencing and other amenities. Its foundation stone was laid by Modi on August 18, 2016.
With the inauguration, the BJP became the first major national party to shift its office outside the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone, following a Supreme Court directive that party offices should be relocated from there.