New Delhi: With its government under fire from Opposition over the Land Bill, BJP president Amit Shah on Monday asked partymen to vigorously counter the campaign of "disinformation and falsehood" launched by rivals and be prepared for sacrifice.
Addressing BJP workers and leaders at a function to mark its foundation day, Shah highlighted the "long tradition of sacrifice" in the party and asked the cadre not to aspire for position but work for nation-building.
"Today, on the party's Foundation Day, I appeal to you to work unitedly to make this government successful and take its work to people and counter disinformation and falsehood spread by the opposition," he said.
"If the Opposition tries to create disinformation, then it is the responsibility of all party workers to tell the truth to the people," he said.
The BJP chief said the Modi government had laid a strong foundation and will take the country forward in a way that it becomes a world leader in the coming times.
"I am confident that when we seek mandate for another term under Narendra Modi, we will get even a better one," he said.
He, however, clarified that nobody in BJP hankered after power.
"We are fortunate to have a leadership tradition in which people made sacrifices and spent their entire life for the country...This party was not formed to make anyone the Prime Minister. This party was formed to make India the 'Vishwa Guru' (world leader)," he said.
He asked partymen not to pursue "career-oriented" thoughts and that success and position will follow hard work.
"You should keep working hard and success and position will follow. We are fortunate to have a leadership tradition of making sacrifices and nothing else," he said.
Shah said though nobody can undermine the supreme sacrifice made for the country by freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, it was even more difficult to live one's entire life for the nation.
With BJP completing its 35 years today, Shah highlighted the role played by party leaders in the past to take its ideology forward and remembered the contribution made by leaders like Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Deen Dayal Upadhaya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and others.
He hoped that the party's next 35 years would be even more glorious than the past 35.
Taking a dig at AAP for "marketing" the "aam aadmi", Shah said, "Today some people talk of simplicity and about being an 'aam aadmi' (common man). I want to tell you, we had such leaders who never had a bank account all their life, never had a home of their own and made the party office their home, had no family but made the entire nation their family.
"Leaders of my party never indulged in marketing sacrifice. It is not something which should be marketed. Sacrifice is not an issue that can be encashed. Sacrifice is a way to resolve issues confronting nations. BJP workers should never try to encash sacrifices," he said.
He also spoke about the saffron organisation's journey from the Jana Sangh days in 1951 to BJP today where from merely 10-odd people its strength has grown to around 10 crore. Shah said BJP with almost 9.5 crore members had become the largest political party in the world, a figure hotly disputed by its rivals.
BJP, he said, was the only party with "true" internal democracy where even a simple worker can reach the top. The BJP chief cited the example of Narendra Modi, who had risen from being a tea seller to the Prime Minister. Likewise, Shah said, he had inched his way to becoming BJP president after starting out as an ordinary booth-level worker.
Several Union Ministers including Venkaiah Naidu, Thawarchand Gehlot, Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP general secretaries Ram Lal and Bhupinder Yadav, besides senior leader VK Malhotra were present.
A photo exhibition depicting BJP's journey has also been organised at party headquarters.
Shah said BJP had espoused the philosophy of cultural nationalism and integral humanism ever since its formation.
"The philosphy of "Ekatma Manavvaad" (integral humanism) is eternal and timeless," he said.
He also noted that BJP's journey through the years had been eventful and full of struggles.
The major difference between the ideologies of Congress and BJP was that the Opposition party talked about reconstruction while demolishing the country's glorious past and BJP spoke of rebuilding the nation while still holding to the old and traditional values, he said.
Veteran leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were conspicuous by their absence. Party sources said no invitation was extended to any leader for the event.