NEW DELHI, March 29 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Tuesday it is only the BJP which in power has recognised contributions of every Prime Minister by building a museum to honour them, and also asked party MPs to undertake various programmes as part of “samajik nyay pakhwada” (fortnight dedicated to social justice) from its foundation day on April 6.
With the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, architect of the Constitution, falling on April 14, Modi at the BJP’s parliamentary party meeting asked party MPs to reach out to people, especially the disadvantaged sections of society like Scheduled Castes, to highlight various government programmes for their welfare.
Quoting him, Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal told reporters that Modi asked parliamentarians to work to spread awareness about the central government’s welfare schemes for housing, nutrition and free grains among others.
With a museum dedicated to all former prime ministers of India set to be inaugurated on April 14, Modi noted his address from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15 in which he had lauded their contributions.
“He said we are the only ones to have acknowledged former prime ministers’ contributions irrespective of the party they came from,” a BJP MP said.
The BJP has often accused the Congress, which has ruled the country for much of the period since Independence, of glorifying the prime ministers from its ruling Nehru-Gandhi family while ignoring others.
“This is essentially democratisation of national recognition and articulation of popular gratitude towards all of our former prime ministers,” BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said.
That the museum is being inaugurated on Ambedkar’s birth anniversary is a recognition of the democratic architecture he bequeathed to the country, another party leader said, referring to Modi’s speech.
Modi also noted that the birth anniversary of noted social reformer Jyotirao Phule falls on April 11.
An exhibition on the movement for India’s Independence was also held at Ambedkar International Centre, the meeting’s venue, where Modi arrived earlier than its scheduled beginning.
The Prime Minister asked them to hold different measures to help people during the fortnight. He suggested that MNREGA funds can be utilised to build ponds in dedication to the ongoing ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
Modi urged MPs, including ministers, to visit ‘aspirational districts’, a term for underdeveloped districts, and hold programmes there.
The meeting also passed a resolution thanking Modi for extending the ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojna’, the free grains scheme for another six months.