New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asserted that nationalism is the identity of BJP. Addressing core groups of state BJP units, Modi said the week-long 'tiranga yatra' by Union ministers and party leaders to mark the 70th Independence Day had made a good impact across the country.
He also asserted that the 'yatra' played an important role in spreading the spirit of national unity, integrity and harmony at a time when forces against them are at work, according to Union minister Ananth Kumar.
The saffron party has harped on nationalism against the backdrop of ongoing Kashmir unrest, the row over an Amnesty event in Bengaluru in which a case of sedition was registered over alleged raising of 'pro-azadi' slogans by some Kashmiris and the JNU controversy.
Though the prime minister did not make any direct mention of these issues, he noted that nationalism has been the party's identity, sources said.
"We are continuously working for development but there are some elements who do not like it. They are trying to divert our and people's attention. We will have to inform the common man that our sole aim is nation building," a BJP statement later quoted him as saying.
Modi also asked party leaders to make conscious efforts to identify with and work for all sections of the society and asserted that his government was dedicated to the welfare of the poor.
Noting that the birth centenary year of Deendayal Upadhyay, a party ideologue, starts from 25 September, he said his government would continue to come out with pro-poor schemes to realise his motto of 'antyodaya' (uplift of the last man).
The sources said Modi also asked BJP leaders to work constructively, noting that the way they worked when the party was in the opposition would have to change when it is in power. Earlier, party chief Amit Shah stressed on the need of discipline and unity in his speech and said it has to expand geographically and across different sections of society.
Besides the core groups of state party units, top Union ministers were also present.
Modi said the party should work to connect with the poorest sections of the society and asked the core leadership of the states to pay attention to it.
He said BJP practised its politics on the strength of its organisation and it should strive to become a social power and not merely political power.
This is the first time the party has held a workshop of core groups of all its state units with Shah noting that the groups are the foundation stone of the organisation's working.
"We have to keep growing. It is necessary for this that the government and the party work in coordination, their work is reviewed with time and appropriate changes are made. The constitution of core groups in all states and their regular meeting can play an important role," the party president said.
They have to ensure that in the states where the party is in power, have corruption-free governments which also remain committed to its ideology, he said.
Shah said in those states where BJP is not in power, the party has to play the role of a constructive, aggressive and sensitive opposition to raise public issues. He said BJP is not merely a party but an ideology and, therefore it is natural that its working will be different from that other parties.