New Delhi: BJP president J.P. Nadda will hold an interaction with diplomats of BIMSTEC, Europe and East Asian nations and familiarise them with the thinking and the working of the party. This is part of the BJP’s initiative to reach out to a global audience.
“On Wednesday, the foundation day of the BJP, we are launching a new initiative called Know the BJP (Bhajapa ko jaaniye) for the overseas audience. Heads of 13 missions will interact with the BJP president. This is the beginning, many such programmes will be organised with foreign delegates, and apart from this party-to-party interactions will also take place,” said Vijay Chauthaiwale, in-charge of the BJP’s foreign affairs department.
Envoys from France, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Italy, Hungary, Vietnam, Norway, a European Union (EU) delegation and the High Commissioners of Bangladesh and Singapore will be present at the event that will take place at 4 pm Wednesday.
At the meeting, Nadda is expected to show the delegation a documentary on the rise of the BJP, since the inception of its precursor, the Jana Sangh, in 1951. According to a senior party leader, Nadda is likely to also familairse the delegation regarding the party as a whole, its history, its ideology, the overall functioning and culture. A coffee table book documenting the rise of the BJP and its activities from the Jana Sangh days till the Covid-19 pandemic will also be presented to the delegation, source said.
Apart from Nadda, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, party vice-president Baijayant Panda, Rajya Sabha MP Dr Sudhanshu Trivedi, Tamil Nadu MLA Vanathi Srinivasan and Nagaland MLA Mmhonlumo Kikon are also expected to be present.
Apart from formally introducing the BJP to the delegation, there will also be an interactive session with Nadda and a brief tour of the headquarters building in New Delhi’s Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg.
“Essentially, this is the first event. The BJP president is planning to have more such small events with other countries too. The idea is to enhance party-to-party dialogue with friendly countries,” Chauthaiwale said.
Chauthaiwale recounted an incident, pointing out how such events help in clearing misconceptions.
“We had invited the Nepali Congress earlier and we realised how misconceptions carried on for a long time, but they get eliminated when you visit. The delegation, when they met the Uttar Pradesh chief minister (Yogi Adityanath), pointed out that there is a Nepali temple in the Kashi Vishwanath corridor, and during the redevelopment project, it got either damaged or was no longer prominently visible,” he said.
“During the interaction, when UP CM got to know this, he told them that as part of the project, the temple has in fact been given more prominence and when the delegation visited the temple, they were surprised and even tweeted about this,” he added.
Since the Modi government came to power in 2014, it has focused on expanding its overseas outreach programmes. For instance, in 2016 too, in what was touted as a major example of such a programme, senior ministers were asked to travel to 68 countries not visited by a senior Indian minister ever, or at least in the past few decades.
(Edited by Manoj Ramachandran)
(This report has been updated with new information)