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Modi hits out at opposition, says some parties ‘trying to poison society for self-interest’

In a virtual address to senior BJP leaders, PM Narendra Modi also defended his government against the opposition's charge of 'Hindi imposition'.

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New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi Friday criticised political parties who for their “selfish interest” keep looking for “small incidents of tensions to inject poison” into the country’s atmosphere and minds of the people.

“Some political parties, for their self-interest, are trying to poison the country and provoke people by using small incidents, tensions or weaknesses… They use such incidents to deliberately poison the society on the basis of caste and region,” PM Modi told senior BJP leaders, including national office-bearers, state party chiefs, and organisational secretaries, in a virtual address.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came in the backdrop of communal violence in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri and Rajasthan’s Jodhpur, and clashes in four states, namely Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal on Ram Navami.

The opposition parties have been accusing the BJP of trying to polarise society. In a joint statement last month, opposition parties had questioned the PM’s silence on those “who propagate bigotry”. 

Modi said the opposition will try to “divert the country’s attention from the core issues of development” but the BJP and its functionaries “have to stick to them”.

“We are seeing that today, the ecosystem of some parties is engaged in diverting [attention from] the main issues of the country with full force. We should never fall into the trap of such parties,” PM Modi said, adding, “Whichever political party it is, it has to be forced to take part in politics of development.”

He said BJP leaders should never “take any short-cut” and move forward on “basic issues related to the interest of the country.”

The Prime Minister added that it is time for the BJP to set targets for the next 25 years, keeping people’s aspirations in mind. 

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‘BJP sees Indian languages as the soul of Indianness’

Modi also said that while attempts are being made to stir controversies over language, the BJP respects every regional language, which is “reflected in the central government’s National Education Policy (NEP)”. 

The party has been accused by the opposition of Hindi imposition over statements made by some of its leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Modi said “prioritising local languages in the new National Education Policy reflects our commitment to each regional language”.

“BJP considers Indian languages to be the soul of Indianness and a link to a better future for the nation,” he added.

“I am making a special mention of this today because in the past few days, we have seen attempts being made to spark controversies on the basis of languages. We have to caution the public regarding this. BJP sees a reflection of Indian culture in every regional language and considers them worthy of worship,” the Prime Minister said.

PM Modi also urged BJP workers to continue working for the nation without lying in wait for the media to showcase the government’s “good work”.

“The (good) work may not make it to the front pages of newspapers, or may not make headlines on TV, they may not give any publicity to our work, but you have to continue working and be focused on the issue of development,” he said.

Pointing out that the BJP will complete eight years in power at the Centre in May, PM Modi said that these eight years have seen “resolutions and accomplishments”. 

The meeting of BJP’s national office-bearers in Jaipur began Thursday with a discussion among the party’s national general secretaries.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

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