Shah speaks to BJP MPs on campaign to celebrate Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary

    New Delhi, Sep 21 (PTI) BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday asked his party's MPs and state organisational leaders to launch a "successful" and "unforgettable" campaign to spread Mahatma Gandhi's ideals and also to push the recent drives, including making India free of single-use plastic, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 
    Shah was joined by senior leaders as he spoke to them through a video-conference on the party's plans to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary, which falls on October 2, and said the BJP is determined to realise his ideals as envisaged by Modi, according to a statement. 
    The BJP chief, also the Union home minister, touched on Modi's August 15 announcements on 'Fit India' and making the country single-use plastic free as he exhorted his party's leaders to launch a campaign in this regard and also to spread Gandhi's ideals, including on 'swadeshi' (of one's own country), non-violence, cleanliness, khadi and environment. 
    "We have to make these programmes successful and unforgettable," he said. 
    The BJP will undertake 'Gandhi sankalp yatra' during October 2-31 period, and its leaders will reach out to various sections of society through a variety of campaigns. 
    The party said in the statement that its 3,229 MPs, MLAs, other elected representatives and office-bearers will join the yatra. 
    All elected representatives were asked to undertake 'pad yatra' (foot march) for 15 days during the period. 
    Shah said they should cover at least 2 km on October 2 and make the area plastic-free. 
    Modi had earlier asked the party MPs to undertake a 150 km 'padyatra' between October 2, Gandhi's birth anniversary, and October 31, the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
    Party leaders were asked to touch every village in the campaign. 
    Sources said they were also told to clean statues of all icons "irrespective of the ideology they came from" during the Saturday's video-conference. 
    MPs, including Union ministers, joined the conference from the capital of their respective state while Shah spoke from the party's headquarters. 
    The party should also launch the exercise with the same vigour in places which do not have BJP MPs or MLAs, Shah said. 
    The party president also touched on programmes to celebrate its ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay's birth anniversary on September 26.
    BJP working president J P Nadda and its general secretary Bhupender Yadav also spoke on the occasion. 
    In a separate video-address to chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, Shah spoke at length on measures taken by the Modi government to boost economy, which has seen a slump. 
    He, the sources said, asserted that the measures, including a major cut in corporate tax rate, will give a big boost to economy. 
    The Opposition has used the slowdown to target the Union government, and Shah's decision to speak to the chief ministers underscore the BJP's determination to counter the rivals as it gears up for upcoming assembly polls in Maharashtra and Haryana. PTI KR RT

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)