New Delhi, Apr 6 (PTI) Targeting rivals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said their opposition to him is turning “increasingly violent” due to the fact that people born in backward castes are in the country’s top positions and also because of their discomfort with the BJP’s rising strength.
His remarks at an interaction with party leaders on its 38th foundation day came against the backdrop of violent protests during a ‘Bharat bandh’ this week, which had left at least 11 people dead.
Modi, who comes from Other Backward Classes (OBC), also invoked his humble background and said his rivals were unable to digest that a “son of a poor mother” had become prime minister.
While the ruling alliance led by the BJP is known for its “win after win”, the Congress-led opposition’s agenda was “remove Modi, snatch his chair” and its identity is “lie after lie”.
“You would have seen that the opposition (to Modi government) is becoming more intense and angrier. It is being seen now that it is turning more violent as well. The reason is not that we have made any mistake. The only reason is that our rivals are unable to digest the BJP’s rising strength,” he said.
Attacking his rivals, he continued, “They are unable to accept that the son of a poor mother can become prime minister. They are unable to accept that people born in backward castes can also occupy top positions in the country.” The BJP, which was long considered a ‘Brahmin-Baniya’ party, made a Dalit India’s president when it got its first chance to elect a person of its choice for the top constitutional position.
Its rivals are unable to reconcile to the fact that the BJP has become a party of the poor and has highest numbers of MPs and MLAs from scheduled castes and tribes, he said.
“It is due to this that an atmosphere of violent opposition against the BJP is being created,” he said and asked party workers not to fall in the opposition’s trap of divisive agenda.
Without losing their patience and decorum, they should redouble their efforts to build a ‘New India’ by 2022, he said.
Modi has spoken about his vision of a “new India’ that will provide all families a home and which will be without casteism and communalism.
BJP workers should work for everybody’s benefits, he said.
Asking them to use technology to spread their message, he said that in current age of social media if they are not active, then they would cede the space to anti-national and anti-social elements.
It is their national due to not cede this space, he said, asking them to put out true and correct information.
Speaking on the growth of the BJP since it was founded in 1980 by leaders of erstwhile Jana Sangh, which had merged with other opposition parties to form Janata Party in 1977 to challenge the then ruling Congress, the prime minister said it was the only party run democratically.
It is not run on caste and family lines, and has a tradition of taking everyone along, he said.
Taking a dig at the Opposition, he said those not having democracy within their organisation are unlikely to be committed much to the nation’s democracy.
BJP leaders were almost forced out in 1980 and it was a case of political untouchability, he said.
People can now see where those are who practised this untouchability and those who were its victims, he said in a reference to the party’s rise and the fall of socialist parties and the Congress.
Modi made the speech through his app and also took some questions from party’s office bearers. He interacted with workers of five Lok Sabha constituencies and all 734 district presidents of the party via video conference.
He said he had recently told BJP MPs that he will interact with workers of those Lok Sabha constituencies whose MPs had more than three lakh Twitter followers.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.