Adoring Amit tells cadre: Modi's the greatest leader in the world, keep him in power
- Wednesday, 6 April, was the Bharatiya Janata Party\'s 36th foundation day
- The party organised a function in New Delhi on the occasion, where BJP president Amit Shah addressed workers
- Shah hailed Modi as the greatest leader in the world, and exhorted workers to spread the government\'s message far and wide
- His message was clear: Modi got the party into power, now it is the workers\' responsibility to keep it there
- The divide between the party establishment and the government
- Why Shah needs the party to rally round
Wednesday, 6 April, was the Bharatiya Janata Party's 36th foundation day, and the party organised a function to mark the occasion in New Delhi. And at this function, the BJP's national president Amit Shah hailed Narendra Modi as the 'greatest leader in the world'.
Shah exhorted party workers to take pride in Modi's leadership and work for the country's progress under his guidance. His remarks assume significance at a time when questions are being raised over Modi's charisma. There are doubts, both within the party circles and outside, about whether Modi's popularity is on the decline.
Shah asked party workers to stop looking up to the government for every solution, and take the responsibility to advance party's agenda among the masses. He stressed that it is the duty of every worker to work honestly towards popularising the Central government's policies.
Reading between the lines, the message was clear: prove yourself before expecting anything from the government.
Magic on the wane
The BJP brass is increasingly worried over Modi's magic being on the wane. This was the main factor behind the party's victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The Opposition, on the other hand, is watching on in glee.
None of the state Assembly elections, in the near past or those in the near future, seem to be going the
party's way. Even the extensive campaigning by the Prime Minister failed to yield desirable results in Delhi and Bihar.
In such a situation, Shah'sspeech
sought to boost the morale of party workers and consolidate their faith in Modi's stewardship.
Shah was in his element, belting out an aggressive address. But opposite the dais, the air seemed to be heavy with a strange despondency. The only time the workers showed enthusiasm was when they lined up to meet the party president.
Party vs government
The gap between the government and the party organisation has widened in recent times. Shah offered a solution to the problem, by appealing to the workers to shed their sloth.
“We tend to become complacent after coming to power. This is not the time to sit idle. You should gear up for the task of nation building,” he advised them.
It is difficult to discern whether Shah's exhortations will have any impact on the party cadres.
“Party activists can work for the government only if they are given importance. A worker should feel he is a part of the governance process, and his viewpoint will not go unheard. Who will bear the burden to defend the government unless there is participation of the grass-root worker in its policies?” a BJP leader present during the function told the Catch.
In the current, centralised way the party is functioning, not even senior leaders have this luxury. Sometimes, even ministers are not aware of the decisions taken by their departments.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, for example, had no idea that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was arriving from Pakistan to probe the Pathankot attack. Singh was candid enough to admit that he was apprised of the JIT's visit through media reports. Many MPs have similar complaints.
Nevertheless, Shah seems to have pinned all his hopes on the cadres. “We have a time period of one year to expand the party's base. Every worker must resolve to wholeheartedly contribute to this mission,” he told the workers.
Modi got BJP into power, workers' job to keep it there
Shah had introduced some new innovations to spruce up the party organisation. Some of them were even inspired by Communist parties.
One of the decisions made by Shah was to construct a party office in every district. He believed this would reduce the party's over-dependence on some selected individuals at the local level, and add to the party's real estate.
Another mantra was to strengthen the party organisation at the booth level. He reiterated the same vision during his foundation day speech.
“Strengthening the party at the booth level should be our priority. We want to organise at least six annual party programmes in every booth. This will activate the grass-root supporters. The booth-level worker will have to be our strongest link,” he said.
Shah further stated that adding 11 crore new party members was no mean feat. He cautioned that the membership drive will be a success only if these members are converted into dedicated workers.
Shah's focus is clearly on building the party organisation on the ground. His message to the cadres is clear: prove your worth before raising questions about the leadership. Modi got the BJP into power. Now it is the duty of the workers to keep it there and strengthen it further.
Translated: Deepak Sharma
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