BJP working president Jagat Prakash Nadda on Tuesday exulted over the party's exponential growth across the country in recent times and remarked its competitors now do not think in terms of winning but occupying the slot second to the saffron party. Addressing a function organized here in the memory of late Jan Sangh leader and former Bihar minister Kailashpati Mishra, Nadda also remarked that people were welcome to join the BJP irrespective of whether they did so "out of choice, out of chance or out of accident".
This was Nadda's first visit to Bihar after becoming working president of the BJP. Several senior leaders, including national general secretary in-charge for Bihar Bhupendra Yadav, state president Sanjay Jaiswal, Union ministers Nityanand Rai and Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi were among those present on the dais.
"One may join us out of choice, upon getting acquainted and impressed with our ideology and commitment to nationalism. Or one may do so out of chance, taking a cue from some close friend who is already a dedicated worker. There may still be others who might be joining us as a mark of protest against some other power", Nadda said.
"To all category of party members, I want to say you are at the right place. Thank your stars for that. To those who may still be thinking of joining us, I would say join the que, the sooner the better", he remarked. "We cannot imagine the heights we are going to scale on the basis of our strong foundation. Our competitors have given up thinking in terms of victory. They are content with a slot that places them second to BJP. "It is the beauty of our organization that after we had set the world record by having 11 crore workers, we broke it ourselves this year during the fresh membership drive in which the number rose to 17 crore", Nadda said evoking applause from the gathering.
The former Union minister also lavished praise on the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the role they played in the transformation of Bihar, where till a few decades ago going to a district north of the Ganges used to be an ordeal. "I would like to assure the people of Bihar that the state will remain on the priority of Modi under whose leadership economic growth has accompanied attempts to foster social harmony," he said. PM has shown the courage to take decisions as diverse as granting constitutional status to the National Commission for OBCs, and separate quotas to the economically weaker sections, Nadda added. Moreover, his tenure has been marked by an increase in the defence capabilities and a rise in the country's stature on the world stage. Global giants like China and the US treat our PM with respect, which indicates the growth in our standing.
"And yet, when it comes to protecting national interests, our leader makes no compromise as he demonstrated by refusing to sign the RECP, finding it detrimental to the interests of our dairy farming industry, notwithstanding immense pressure from over a dozen countries", Nadda remarked.
"But please do remember, no political force can prosper without acknowledging the role played by its previous generations. Draw inspiration from the lives of Kailashpati Mishra, Thakur Prasad (another late Jan Sangh stalwart and father of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad) whom I had the privilege to know at close quarters having been born and brought up in Patna, Nadda recalled fondly. He said in his childhood, he could not understand why people like Mishra used to devote so much of time and energy in politics when the party hardly won any seat in Bihar.
"Many years later, while I was cutting my political teeth in Himachal Pradesh, I used to be mocked by the champions of caste politics, the communists and supporters of the Congress alike. Today when we have had the last laugh and it is all due to the sacrifices made by those who nurtured our ideology, he added. In his address, Sushil Kumar Modi spoke about the achievements of the JD(U)-BJP government in the state, which has been in power since 2005 and expressed confidence that the NDA will return to power in the 2020 assembly polls.
He also underscored that the state reaped the fruits of development while weaker sections of the society received benefits of affirmative action whenever "the BJP, or the Jan Sangh" in past, assumed power in Bihar or at the Centre. After attending the function, Nadda also held a meeting with the party's core committee where he is understood to have discussed the prospects and preparations for assembly elections which are due in the state next year.