Modi praises BJP workers for welfare work during COVID-19 lockdown

Over eight lakh BJP workers were involved in the exercise, BJP chief Nadda said

modi-video-party-workers-pti Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends BJP's 'Seva Hi Sangathan Abhiyan' via video conferencing, in New Delhi | PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday described the BJP's welfare work during the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown as the "biggest seva yagya in history" and asserted that the party has come to represent all sections of society due to its service to the people.

Addressing party leaders at the 'Seva Hi Sangathan' meet held through video conferencing, Modi also cautioned them that the danger of COVID-19 remains while the festival season is set to begin. Be aware and spread awareness, he said.

During the meet, seven state units of the BJP presented reports of the welfare works done by them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlighting the value of serving people for a political party, Modi said the organisational apparatus for other parties may be only a machine to win elections but this is not so for the BJP.

The BJP has worked to empower the poor and the deprived sections of society and to bring them at par with others, Modi said, noting that the party now has 52 Dalit, 43 tribal and more than 113 OBC MPs.

It shows the BJP is associated with all sections of society and every section of society is associated with the party, he said.

Nation-first is what defines the BJP, Modi said, adding that reaching out to the people during this crisis also served as a practical training for party workers in understanding society.

Noting the scale and range of the welfare work done by BJP workers during the lockdown, Modi said, "The nationwide welfare work undertaken by BJP workers for so long and at such a scale during the COVID-19 crisis is biggest 'seva yagya' (service to the people) in history.

The prime minister said at a time when everyone was busy protecting themselves, BJP workers dedicated themselves to the service of the poor and the needy. BJP workers took risks to carry out welfare work amid the COVID-19 pandemic and some even lost their lives, he said, while paying tributes to them

Underlining that serving the people is the philosophy of the party, Modi said for the BJP, power is a medium to serve the people and not to make personal gains.

He asked party leaders to prepare digital booklets on the organisation's welfare work and bring it out on the birth anniversary of key BJP ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay on September 25.

It should be in three languages; Hindi, English and the mother tongue of a state, Modi said.

He noted that he had once spoken about the need for "Seven S" seva bhav (spirit of service) santulan (balance), samyam (restrain), samanvaya (coordination), sakratakmakta (positivity), sadbhav (harmony) and samvad (dialogue)—among party workers, and said this was visible during the recent exercise.

Speaking on the party's Bihar unit's presentation on the relief work done by it, Modi said some believed that COVID-19 will spread more in east India due to high poverty levels, but people proved it wrong. Praising the work of the BJP's Rajasthan unit during the lockdown, he said this shows as to how a party can play a "constructive role" whether it is in power or in opposition during a crisis.

The Congress is in power in Rajasthan.

Modi applauded many state units such as those of Maharashtra and Bihar in their respective local languages Marathi and Bhojpuri.

Before chairing the meet, Modi in a tweet said in these challenging times, party workers have been working tirelessly across India and helping those in need.

"For BJP karyakartas, serving the nation comes first," he tweeted.

At the beginning of the meeting, BJP chief J.P. Nadda applauded Prime minister Modi for his "exemplary" leadership during the time of crisis, saying that he has been praised across the globe for his actions in tackling the pandemic.

Nadda also shared details of the overall relief work done by party workers during the lockdown and said over 22 crore food packets and five crore ration kits were distributed among the needy.

Over eight lakh BJP workers were involved in the exercise, he said.

Top BJP leaders, including Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and Giriraj Singh besides Nadda, joined the online meeting from the BJP headquarters in the national capital, while Modi connected via video link from his residence.