Optimum use of technology to reach out to the masses, message of a casteism and communalism-free new India, and knowledge of schemes rolled out by the government — these were guru mantras that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave on Friday to the party workers on the 38th Foundation Day of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His address to the party workers via video conferencing sounded like a foundation laying ceremony of the BJP's poll strategy to face the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The prime minister's address may hold tremendous importance at a time when the BJP is finding it increasingly difficult to retain its voter base due to massive Dalit unrest that shook the nation recently. Modi's speech addressing the party workers is seen as loaded with damage control measures.
While advising the party workers to have control over themselves, he said, "I appeal to you to keep control over your words and your emotions, and work towards creating a new India which is clean and free of casteism, communalism and poverty by the time India celebrates 75 years of its freedom in 2022."
His words were seen as loaded with a strong political message before the national polls, which may strike the right chord among the discontent Dalits.
Angst among the Dalits have shown up as major cause of concern for the ruling party across many states.
Soon after the party defeated the CPM in Tripura Assembly election held in February, a group of over-enthusiasts brought down a statue of Lenin. This was followed by the defacing of Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar's statues in various states. Moreover, Tamil Nadu also saw defacing of legendary Periyar's statue with whom Dalits identify themselves closely.
The prime minister on Friday also talked to a young Dalit BJP worker and reiterated his trust on the party workers.
While conversing through the NAMO app with the prime minister, Ravi Tawar's, a Dalit youth said, "You have always talked about a new India. We would like to assure you that we will contribute to achieve the vision of a new India."
The prime minister reiterated, "The success the party has achieved today is because of the party workers. I express my heartfelt respect to those party workers who have made the party as successful as it is today."
The BJP seems to have taken the schemes launched by the Centre as a poll plank before next year's elections. The prime minister, too, advised party workers to work earn more knowledge about them. "The more knowledge you have about the schemes, the more you will be able to help people in availing them. You need to go to the people and advise which schemes can solve their problems," he said.
He also cited the example of Janaushadhi Pariyojana, the cheap medicine scheme under the Department of Pharmaceuticals and advised them to create more awareness about it. The prime minister in his speech also advised the party workers to use technology to its optimum to reach out to the people. "We should not think that our phone is a only a medium to talk to people. The day people will think the phone as a medium of availing services provided by the government, they will truly be empowered," he said.
He also said that the common man should feel that the government is "in his hands" as a phone.
He seemed to have successfully conveyed the message to the party workers as Apoorva Singh, a worker in the party, said to Firstpost: "We will certainly achieve the dream of a new India with the help of technology as suggested by the prime minister."
She also said that the prime minister's vision of a digital India has not only attracted the younger generation towards technology but also elderly people.
Updated Date: Apr 07, 2018 10:50 AM