Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Tuesday that nationalism is the identity and original agenda of the BJP. He told senior BJP leaders at a workshop of the party’s State Core Committees, that nationalism and patriotism are the tools to fight sectarian politics in India, and they should adhere to this agenda.

BJP leaders must combat the perception that the party is anti-Dalit and anti-minorities.

They should address allegations that the government had failed to protect the weaker sections of society, he added. Nationalism was what had driven the party to victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he pointed out.

In his 45-minute speech, the PM said there are many forces working against the BJP, and it is the task of every karya kartha to fight those forces and concentrate on nation building.

Congress hits back

Reacting to the speech, Congress spokesperson Randeep S Surjewala said Modi’s statement is one more act of political deception by a PM whose promise of acche din and characteristic ‘ jumla style’ “stands exposed before the nation”.

“Firstly, those who had no sacrifice, participation and intent in creating Indian nation state can never be trusted as propagators or champions of nationalism. Modi establishment has converted India into a nation state where liberal traditions are under serious assault and mockery of law is rampant.

“We want to remind Narendra Modi ji that it was not nationalism that brought you to power . It was development, jobs, growth, good governance, promise of alleviating poor from poverty,eradicating inflation and bringing acche din for all. PM has conveniently forgotten it but the people of India can see through his statement,” he said.

Among the attendees were senior party leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, as well as over 350 delegates from across the country.

Addressing the gathering, Shah said the BJP has become the biggest party in India. It has grown in leaps and bounds from 1950 to 2016, he said. He also stressed on the need for discipline and unity in his speech.

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