New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called for strengthening the BJP at its roots for a win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and also pitched for promoting young faces inside and outside the party.
Addressing the BJP parliamentary party here, Modi pushed for promoting the new generation for a “New India”, a vision for 2022 promoted by his government.
He also urged party leaders not to be affected by the opposition’s “disinformation” campaign against the BJP, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters.
Booth level work, which is the root of a poll campaign, is the mother of an election victory, Kumar quoted Modi as saying.
“He called for strengthening the party at its roots across the country,” Kumar said.
Party sources said Modi turned emotional a few times as he recalled how the party organisation was built in Gujarat and young leaders were groomed by their seniors, including former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
With the Congress claiming a “moral victory” for scoring its highest tally and pushing the BJP to its lowest score in the last many elections, Modi asserted that it was a big win for his party in his home state.
No party in power at the Centre had done this well in elections across the country in over three years of tenure as the BJP had done, he said, referring to its winning streak in Assembly elections.
Modi fondly recalled how Vajpayee congratulated him in person when the party fared well in a Lok Sabha election from Gujarat, noting that he, then a relatively new entrant to the BJP from the RSS and a general secretary in charge of the state, was not widely known in the party, sources said.
Seeking the promotion of young leaders at every level in the organisation, Modi referred to his association with party president Amit Shah, who was present at the meeting, and spoke about how he groomed Shah, 14 years younger to the prime minister.
“Modi called for strengthening the party at its roots across the country. He said the work at the booth level is most important, beside people’s blessings to the party, for creating a wave in its favour,” Kumar told reporters after the meeting.
Modi wanted younger generations to be connected with party work, social work and for building the nation. He noted that the “millennial generation” would be eligible to vote from 2018.
In his address, Shah attacked the Congress over its claim of a moral victory in the Gujarat polls, saying it was a “laughable exercise” for the opposition party to see victory in defeat.
By getting more than 49 per cent of the votes, the BJP had received its highest share in the last many elections, including in 2012, when it won 116 seats against the 99 this time.