The state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be in some mood for celebration. It has decided to celebrate the birthday of chief minister Narendra Modi, and that too for nine days. Interestingly, such a thing never happened for party veterans like AB Vajpayee and LK Advani.
In the past, only the birthdays of party founders Dindayal Upadhyay and Shyamaprasad Mookerjee have been celebrated. State spokesperson IK Jadeja said, at a meeting in Gandhinagar last week in presence of Modi and other leaders, that the party would connect Modi with one lakh youths from all districts via social media as part of the CM’s birthday celebrations. He also announced that the nine-day celebration would begin from September 17, which is Modi’s birthday.
Party sources said that they had never heard of such celebration except for two founders and Swami Vivekananda. Party stalwart Vajpayee had some privilege but it was limited to social service only not public programmes. This only indicates that Modi has been raised to a stature that has never been given to anyone else in the party before.
“The party usually announces a series of public programmes for birth and death anniversaries of Dindayal Upadhyay and Shyamaprasad Mookerjee every year,” said a source in the party.
He said, “The party also celebrates Swami Vivekananda’s birth and death anniversary. Sometimes, workers distribute clothes, medicine, etc at hospitals and among unprivileged people on the birthday of Vajpayee, but such honour was never bestowed on Advani.
This sort of public announcement has not been done for any other leader irrespective of his or her stature in the party.”According to BJP communiqué, the party will conduct political and social programmes from September 17 to September 25 (birthday of Upadhyay) and connect 1 lakh youth via social media from each district.
All cells and morchas will induct 1 lakh fresh members in the party.
The state BJP defended the move by stating that Modi was the pride of not only Gujarat but also the entire nation. “We dedicated Kankaria carnival to AB Vajpayee on his birthday and as Modiji is the face of the party, we have chalked out such programmes for his birthday,” said Dr Harshad Patel, party media cell convener.
He said, “He never celebrated his birthday. We are organizing social and political activities to honour him.”