New Delhi: If it is a sin not to give tickets to the children of BJP MPs, then “yes I have committed a sin” — PM Narendra Modi delivered a sharp rebuke to dynasty politics at a BJP parliamentary party meeting Tuesday.
The meeting, the BJP parliamentary party’s first since the Budget session of Parliament resumed Monday, comes days after the party won 4 of the 5 states that went to elections this year.
BJP MPs who attended the meeting said Modi sought to send a “strong message” to BJP parliamentarians, making it clear “that dynasty politics and nepotism would not be allowed in the party”. The PM is also said to have voiced support for the movie The Kashmir Files, released this month, against what he described as attempts to discredit it.
On nepotism, the MPs said, Modi stated that it was because of him that children of several MPs were denied tickets in the assembly polls.
“Children of our MPs and family members didn’t get tickets because it encourages dynasty politics and I am responsible for this,” he was quoted as having said. “Dynasty politics also increases casteism… so such parties are responsible for it.”
Modi described dynasty politics as dangerous for democracy, the MPs said. He further told the MPs that the BJP will fight against nepotism and dynasty politics in “other political parties too”.
Quoting Modi, an MP said the PM “reiterated the fact that no one else but he was responsible for denial of tickets to family members and he stressed the fact that nepotism would not be allowed in the party”.
The sources said Modi was given a rousing welcome at the meeting for the BJP’s victory in the assembly polls, including by former national presidents of the party.
When incumbent BJP chief J.P. Nadda sought to garland Modi, the latter nudged him to come in front of him and get garlanded first, the sources said. The move was seen as a bid to acknowledge the role played by party workers and leaders in the BJP’s victory.
A second source quoted Modi as saying that the “politics of caste — ‘jativaad ki rajneeti’ — is coming to an end”, while the PM was referring to the assembly polls.
Modi wants ‘more movies like The Kashmir Files’
Another source said the PM was also critical of chief ministers of Opposition-ruled states for “politicising the evacuation of Indian nationals from war-torn Ukraine”.
“Modi ji said, instead of consoling people and doing their bit, chief ministers of Opposition-ruled states were writing letters to the Centre to evacuate students from their state first,” the source added. “Only the BJP reached out to the family members of Indian citizens stranded in Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar briefed BJP lawmakers about ‘Operation Ganga’ — the operation for evacuating Indian nationals from Ukraine — and the situation in the country.
PM Modi, sources said, appreciated the efforts of all those involved in the process of evacuation.
According to a BJP MP, the PM also expressed support for the controversial movie The Kashmir Files, saying an entire ecosystem has been working to suppress the truth.
The movie, made by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, seeks to depict the violence that triggered the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley at the height of militancy three decades ago.
Modi said such films should be made so that people get to know the truth, the source added.
“Those who claim to be custodians of freedom of expression have lost their sense in the last few days. Rather than evaluating the movie on the basis of facts and art, they are running a campaign to discredit the movie,” the PM was quoted as saying. “My issue is not a film. My concern is that whatever is the truth needs to be presented in the right manner for the good of the country,” he added, saying that if “one wants they can bring another movie on the same issue with a different perspective”.
Among other things, the Prime Minister asked the MPs to assess the booths that the party lost in their area and prepare a report on the reasons behind it, “so that appropriate measures can be taken”.
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)