Press Trust of india

Peace, unity and harmony prerequisites for development: PM Modi

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New Delhi, Mar 03: Asserting that peace, harmony and unity are prerequisites for the country’s development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked BJP MPs to take lead in ensuring amity in society with their words, mind and deeds, remarks that come amid criticism of his government by the Opposition over Delhi riots.

Addressing the BJP parliamentary party meeting, Modi also took a dig at Congress leader Dr. Manmohan Singh, saying the former prime minister finds a “bad smell” even in a slogan like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and looks at it with suspicion.

At a recent event, Singh had said the slogan of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ was being misused to construct a “militant and purely emotional” idea of India that excludes millions of residents and citizens.

Seizing on Singh’s remarks, Modi said in the closed-door meeting that similar controversies were created over ‘Vande Mataram’ during the freedom struggle and singing it was considered a “gunah” (crime) with many people choosing to leave the meetings of the Congress when it was played, sources said quoting the prime minister.

“It is unfortunate and sad that 70 years after independence, raising a slogan like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is being depicted as a crime… It is unfortunate that a person who held the post of prime minister is saying so,” Modi said, adding that “every patriot will be pained with this”.

He said several forces are working to destabilise the country and called upon party leaders to work more vigorously for it. He added that political interests are supreme for some parties while national interest is of utmost importance to the saffron organisation.

A fight is going on between those wedded to national interest and people preferring party interest over it, he stated, asserting that the country is supreme for the BJP and ‘vikas’ is its mantra, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters after the meeting.

“Vikas (development) is our mantra and peace, harmony and unity are prerequisites for the country’s development. We should not merely speak about it but take lead in ensuring peace, harmony and unity,” the prime minister said.

Emphasising on his slogan of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas and sabka vishwash’ (With all, development for all and trust of all), Modi invoked the Sanskrit words of “manasa, vaacha, karmana” to ask party leaders to work for the country’s development with their mind, words and action.

His call for peace, harmony and unity comes at a time when opposition parties have accused some BJP leaders of making hate speeches which, they alleged, provoked riots in the national capital. The opposition has also sought to corner the Modi government in Parliament over the issue.

At least 42 (some agencies reporting 49) persons have died in the communal violence in the national capital.

Keeping ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ on their minds, they should work for the country’s development which, Modi told BJP leaders, is supreme.

In the meeting, Modi also highlighted the benefits of Jan Aushadhi Kendra, which sells medicines at subsidised rates, and said he would interact with those running over 6,300 such centres and their beneficiaries on March 07.

Top BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah and its president J P Nadda, were in the meeting.

A booklet, which carried Modi’s speeches in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on discussions on the President’s address to a joint sitting of Parliament on January 31, was also distributed to all BJP MPs.

Brought out by BJP parliamentary party secretary Balasubrahmanyam Kamarsu, the booklet has been given to the MPs so that they could use its key points for political debates and discussion, the sources said.

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