New Delhi: Wrapping up the BJP's key internal meetings to push his government's and the organisation's agenda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked its Rajya Sabha members to focus on bringing in the poor and deprived sections of society into the party's fold.
"Whichever state you come from, you should raise its issues. You should play an effective role in associating all sections of society, especially the poor and deprived, with the party," Modi said in his valedictory address to a meeting of BJP Rajya Sabha members. All 52 RS members of BJP attended the meeting, which was also addressed by party chief Amit Shah.
Modi noted in the first such meeting of the Rajya Sabha members that the party gave them a platform of "distinct identity" and they must work to bring people from new areas into its fold, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters at a briefing.
Asked which sections of the society Modi wanted them to focus on, Prasad did not name any community but added that more people from some sections could be associated with the party. He noted that BJP received votes of all communities in the Lok Sabha polls.
The saffron party is making efforts to woo Dalits and other marginalised sections of society ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. The repeated invocation of the poor by the top party brass is seen as an attempt to reach out to these groups after the saffron outfit came under attack from the opposition over incident of assault on Dalits, including in Modi's home state Gujarat by cow vigilantes.
Modi said the Rajya Sabha members could also play an effective role in expanding the organisation. Earlier in the day, party chief Amit Shah asked them to adopt a Lok Sabha constituency BJP had lost in 2014 and nurse it so that it could win there in the next elections.
Asking them to play an effective role in Parliament, the Prime Minister urged them to work hard to publicise the Centre's achievements among the masses.
Claiming that the BJP has set a "new precedent" by bringing in relatively young leaders to the Upper House, he asked them to work with new vigour and energy.
He also asked them to be active on the social media, about which the party's social media cell gave a presentation at the meeting.
The Prime Minister said the Rajya Sabha members should not work only in states they come from but also where the party wants to involve them.
BJP is a party of workers and it has come this far due to their dedication and commitment, Modi said.
Union ministers Arun Jaitley, who is the Leader of the Rajya Sabha, and M Venkaiah Naidu also spoke earlier while the party general secretary, organisation, Ramlal asked them to work more effectively for the organisation.
The party had last week held separate meetings of core committee leaders from all states and that of its chief ministers....