Ahmedabad: Setting out his agenda, BJP`s new president Amit Shah on Friday said the party needs to be strengthened in eastern and southern parts of India.
"BJP is not yet strong in southern and eastern states. In the next decade, it is the responsibility of every party worker to strengthen it starting from booth level to the entire region," Shah said.
Shah was given a grand reception here on his return to his home state for the first time after becoming the party chief. Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel, her Cabinet colleagues, state unit BJP president RC Faldu and party office bearers along with hundreds of workers were present on the occasion.
Shah thanked BJP workers for standing by him during his "tough" days.
"When I had to face a tough times, an exams of sorts, BJP workers stood by me. Their trust and support then gave me strength," he said, apparently referring to the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, in which he had spent more than three months in jail in 2010 and had also been barred by the Supreme Court from entering Gujarat for almost two years.
Talking about the BJP-led NDA government, he said "it is for the first time time that a non-Congress government has won with absolute majority (at the Centre). With big power, our responsibilities get bigger. This win does not mean that party workers` duty is done, but we have got a bigger responsibility."
Targeting the previous Congress-led government, he said that "in the last ten years, the journey of development had derailed in UPA-I and II. This is a challenge before us to speed up development."
Praising the Prime Minister, he said: "Narendrabhai is successfully running the government. The Union Budget is the latest example. Every party worker should go door-to-door and convey the government`s message to common people. This is the need of the hour."
"This is the rise of a new era. In Modi`s regime, India will achieve prosperity...Not only that, India will become `vishwa guru` (world master). But for that we have to provide a stable government for a long time," he said.
Shah said only a party like BJP could let a common worker rise to the position of the chief of the organisation.
Expressing gratitude towards the leadership for making him the chief of the party, he said: "I had started my political career here in this city as a booth-level worker of the party. Over the years, I have risen to become the president of the party. It is possible only in BJP."
"I am blessed with an opportunity to hold a post which was earlier graced by dignitaries like Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Deendayal Upadhyay, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani...To fulfil the national leadership`s trust, I will spend my every second for BJP`s development," he said.
The Gujarat Chief Minister said Modi and Shah will take BJP and the country to newer heights.
"The work given to Amitbhai to strengthen the party in east and south is very challenging and I wish him good luck for it," Anandi Patel said.