BHUBANESWAR: The BJP is a party which made a tea seller the country's prime minister, a newspaper hawker its president and a man living in a hut a representative of the people, Union minister Pratap Sarangi has said.
Sarangi said this on Saturday while speaking at a function here where he and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan were felicitated by the party on their first visit to Odisha after taking over as Union ministers.
"This is the speciality about BJP in which a tea seller can become prime minister, a newspaper hawker was made the president and a man living in a hut gets an opportunity to serve the people as a minister," said the Lok Sabha member from Balasore, who stands apart from a typical politician due to his simplicity and austere living.
APJ Abdul Kalam, who became the President of India during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure, used to work as a newspaper hawker during his school days. Stressing that he has been given a big responsibility by Narendra Modi, Sarangi said the prime minister has shown his trust in him.
"It is my duty to justify his trust," said the Lok Sabha member from Balasore, who stands apart from a typical politician due to his simplicity and austere living.
Asserting that he never craved for a ministerial berth, the Union minister said that the post has given him a new responsibility to serve the people and it is not simply a status to celebrate.
"I never craved for a ministerial berth. It came on its own, bringing for me a big responsibility to serve the people better," Sarangi said.
Describing, the sequence of events that led to him taking oath as a Union minister on May 30, as an incredible experience, the 64-year-old BJP leader said party president Amit Shah had called him twice but he was unable to speak to him at that point of time.
"Amit Shah Ji made at least two phone calls but was unable to speak to me as my phone was with another person. When I called back, he asked me to join the swearing-in ceremony in the evening," said Sarangi, the first-time MP who was inducted into the Narendra Modi ministry.
"I was surprised, but Amit Shah Ji clearly told me that I will have to be there to take oath as a Union minister," the Minister of State for MSME and Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries said.
Sarangi also said he is grateful to God that he has given him this opportunity to serve people.