New Delhi: The government on Thursday declared September 25 as 'Antyodaya Diwas' in memory of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, one of the key leaders of Bharatiya Jana Sangh from which the BJP later emerged.
"The Government of India has decided to observe September 25, the birthday of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, as Antyodaya Diwas," Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said.
Describing Upadhyaya as "one of the great thinker and philosopher of the nationalist movement of the country," Naidu said the government wanted to carry forward the message of Upadhyaya who visualised uplift of the poorest of the poor in the country.
"Reaching person in the last line... That is the message of this 'Antyodaya'," he said.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled the role of Upadhyaya in serving the poor on his 98th birth anniversary, saying his mantra of integral humanism remains a guiding force.
"We bow to our inspiration and guide Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya on his birth anniversary. His was a life dedicated towards serving society. The mantra of integral humanism that was given by Deendayalji remains a guiding force for all of us," he said in a message.
Modi also said the government is committed to fulfilling Upadhyaya's vision of serving the very last person in the queue to build a developed and just India.