Modi lauding Mr Shah and his team for building the multistoried three-tower premises in just 18 months.
New Delhi: Inaugurating the BJP’s new central headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, away from New Delhi’s Lutyens’ Zone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared Sunday that democracy was the party’s “core value”, which he said enabled it to take along its allies successfully. He asserted that the BJP and its forerunner Jan Sangh had since Independence led all agitations in the national interest.
Charting the party’s growth since its inception as the Bharatiya Jan Sangh in 1951, Mr Modi said it had never wavered from its founding ideals and its commitment to patriotism. Talking of the country’s multi-party system, Mr Modi said the different views of different parties made the “bouquet of Indian democracy beautiful”, but a lot still needed to be done about the way they function.
The new headquarters, with an area of over 1.70 lakh sq ft, is bigger than the office of any other political party in the world, its president Amit Shah said on Sunday. It was inaugurated by the PM in the presence of several former BJP chiefs, and a number of Union ministers and party office-bearers. Mr Shah said the BJP would have its own office in almost every district of the country within a year and noted that the party, at its national executive meeting in 2015, had decided to have an office in 635 of the country’s 694 districts.
With Mr Modi lauding Mr Shah and his team for building the multistoried three-tower premises in just 18 months, the BJP president said the new headquarters was fitted with the latest communication technologies and had a spacious social media office, from where the Prime Minister could even address a state executive meeting.
Mr Shah said he had done his research and had come to know that with an area of over 1.70 lakh sq ft, the BJP’s new office was bigger than that of any other party in the world. “The dream of workers of the Jan Sangh, the BJP’s forerunner, and the BJP that they have an office of their own has been realised today,” Mr Shah said.
Sunday’s shift makes the BJP the first major national party to move its office outside the Lutyens’ Zone, as mandated in a Supreme Court directive — that party offices should be relocated from there. The BJP’s move may put pressure on other parties to follow suit as almost all have been working for decades out of residential properties.
The saffron party had been working from Ashoka Road for over 35 years while the Congress office is on Akbar Road. The two premises are part of the pool of official government residences.
Among those on the dais at Sunday’s event were former BJP chiefs Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari (the last two also being Union ministers), besides external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. Mr Modi and Mr Shah had laid the foundation stone of the new headquarters in August last year and a Mumbai-based architectural firm designed it. The premises has three buildings fitted with modern communication tools, enabling party office-bearers to coordinate their work with counterparts in states and local levels in real time.
In his address, the Prime Minister said there were several leaders associated with the Congress during the struggle for freedom, but later parted ways to propagate their political values and founded new parties. “The Jan Sangh was founded because after Independence a need was felt to have one or two more strong national parties. After Independence, the Bhartiya Jan Sangh and the BJP led all agitations held in the national interest in the country. And we are proud of it,” Mr Modi said.
He added: “That is why the BJP is dyed in the colour of patriotism and is always willing to struggle and sacrifice for the cause of the nation. The party’s core values are steeped in democracy, he said, adding that it was guided by a democratic spirit in thinking, working and executing its agenda.”
The PM recalled the work of the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led NDA government. “Vajpayee was successful in taking allies along while navigating regional aspirations and sparking a new hope in the country. The root cause for this is that democracy is in our blood (rag rag mein hain). That is why we are moving forward while taking everyone along to the best extent possible,” he said.