NEW DELHI: HARPING on the strength of a disciplined organisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said no other political party in India had suffered so much opposition and hardship as the BJP.
“The BJP will be the only party which has faced adversities since its birth. It faced difficulties at every turn and its every effort was seen in bad light. Even during the British times, the Congress would not have faced so much adversity that we, our dedicated workers, have gone through in 50-60 years,” he said. Modi was speaking during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the BJP’s new headquarters here.
And the Congress reacted sharply. “The PM has humiliated and denigrated the entire freedom struggle of India. He should withdraw the statement and he should forthwith apologise to the nation,” said spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
“Neither the BJP nor the RSS or the predecessor organisation of the BJP participated in the freedom struggle. They actually supported the British,” he said.
Modi asked the party workers to present to the country and the democratic world an example of how a party “devoted to ideals and devoid of dynasty” functions, in an apparent attack on the Congress. He said that during the recent West Bengal Assembly polls, it was difficult for the BJP candidates to even hire an office in Kolkata since anyone willing to given them space would face trouble, he said in an apparent attack on the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state.
Highlighting BJP leaders’ commitment to ideology, Modi said rival parties would certainly have thought that they would be served well if the likes of L k Advani, A B Vajpayee or MM Joshi had joined them, but these leaders decided to live for ideals. Party chief Amit Shah reminded party workers that the BJP had grown from a 10-member organisation to an 11-crore party. Today, the BJP has over 1,000 MLAs, more than 300 MPs and is in power in 12 states, he added.