NEW DELHI: Twenty-two months into his tenure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked BJP workers not to get involved in extraneous issues and focus on development as his government has been able to ensure corruption-free and political allegations-free governance.
Modi’s call to the BJP cadre came during his closing address at the two-day National Executive meet, where issues of nationalism and reaching out to people on the government’s policies took centrestage. As part of the political resolution adopted, the BJP said, “Talking of destruction of Bharat can’t be supported in the name of freedom of expression. Similarly, refusal to say Bharat mata ki jai, in the name of freedom is unacceptable.” This enunciation of the party’s position is likely to be its war cry in the electoral battles ahead. It was Modi’s clear message as well to the BJP workers during his speech where he said those opposed to them were trying to rake up useless issues.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said “freedom of expression and nationalism do necessarily co-exist” and the Constitution gives full freedom for expressing dissent and disagreement, but not the country’s destruction.
“We should not let the Opposition succeed in diverting the attention of people. We should not get affected by them,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said briefing the media about Modi’s speech. “We go forward with one issue – vikas, vikas and vikas (development),” Modi said.
When asked about which issues the PM was referring to, Rajnath clarified that Modi said the workers should not get involved in issues raked up by the Opposition and should get involved in constructive work.
On controversial statements made by some BJP leaders and ministers, Rajnath said it was the Opposition which was creating controversies, while the government’s focus was on development.
In a bid to reach out to those even opposed to the party, Modi said, “We are in the government and we should involve key people of the society. Keeping anyone away is not a good move. Attempts should be made even with those opposed to the party to associate with us. To fight negativity, there is a need for intellectual capability and content. As we are in the government, we should change negative people into those with positive thinking.”