140 cr Indians my family: Modi

ADILABAD/NEW DELHI, Mar 4: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asserted that 140 crore Indians are “my family” as he mounted a counter-offensive over RJD’s Lalu Prasad’s “no family” jibe at him and the BJP rallied around its leader by launching the “Modi Ka Parivar” campaign to corner the opposition in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.
Speaking at a rally in Telangana’s Adilabad, Modi also slammed opposition parties as “dynastic” and said they may have different faces but “jhoot” and “loot” were common to their character.
Modi’s remarks came a day after RJD supremo Lalu Prasad at a rally of the grand alliance in Patna said, “What can we do if Narendra Modi does not have a family of his own? He keeps bragging about the Ram temple. He is not even a true Hindu. In Hindu tradition, a son must shave his head and beard upon the demise of his parents. Modi did not do so when his mother died”.
Hitting back at the opposition parties, Modi reiterated that his commitment was to the people of the country and that he had left home at a young age with the dream of serving the people.
The Prime Minister said “140 crore people of this country are my family. Mera Bharat mera parivar hai (my India is my family). My life is like an open book. People of the country know about it.”
Soon after his speech, BJP leaders, including Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Nirmala Sitharaman and its national president J P Nadda, suffixed their names on social media profiles with “Modi Ka Parivar” in a show of solidarity with its preeminent leader, whose charisma is seen as central to the ruling party’s popular appeal.
As the BJP leaders expressed their solidarity with Modi, the Congress accused the party of “misleading” people about real issues and said it was “waiting for Upendra Rawat, Pawan Singh & Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh to add Modi Ka Pariwar to their bio.” All three BJP leaders have been caught in some unseemly controversies.
Addressing the rally in the southern state where the BJP is looking to boost its previous tally of four Lok Sabha seats out of 17, the Prime Minister also said: “When I left home in my childhood, I left with a dream that I will live for the countrymen.”
Modi said opposition leaders are neck-deep in corruption, parivarvaad (dynasty) and appeasement and are losing their minds. “Now, they have come out with their real manifesto for the 2024 elections. When I questioned about their parivarvaad then they started saying Modi does not have any family,” he said.
When he works late into the night and news goes out, ‘lakhs’ of countrymen write to him not to work so much but to take some rest, Modi said.
“The mothers and sisters, the poor, the youth and senior citizens are Modi’s family and those who have no one, belong to Modi and he belongs to them”, the Prime Minister said.
That is why crores of people in the country consider him as their own and shower love like their family member, he said and added: “That’s why I say 140 crore countrymen, they are my family.”
BJP Chief Ministers were among the party’s senior leaders, besides its numerous other functionaries who joined the “Modi Ka Parivar” campaign.
Many Modi-supporting social media users also made the same change on their pages.
The BJP’s show of solidarity around its top leader in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections is reminiscent of a similar campaign the party had mounted before the 2019 general elections with the “Main Bhi Chowkidar” addition to their names to take on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s “Chowkidar Chor Hai” dig at Modi.
The campaign around the Prime Minister’s perceived image of honesty and being an anti-corruption spearhead turned out to be a big success as the Congress’ attempts to target him over alleged corruption in the Rafale fighter aircraft deal proved to be a non-starter.
Modi led the BJP to a bigger win in the polls while the Congress was decimated one more time in 2019.
In 2014, when he led the BJP to its maiden majority in Lok Sabha, the then Gujarat chief minister had run a successful “Chai pe Charcha” outreach to connect with voters when Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar had made some snide remarks about his “chaiwala” background.
Sudhanshu Trivedi, a BJP national spokesperson, told reporters in the national capital that opposition parties have been launching personal attacks against Modi and making such “petty” remarks against him for the past 16-17 years.
“In that series, yesterday (Sunday), at a rally in Patna, once again such petty remarks were made against Prime Minister Modi by Lalu Prasad Yadav in the presence of INDI alliance leaders. This is sad and painful,” Trivedi said at a press conference at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.
“He (Yadav) has talked about Modi’s family. I want to remind him (Yadav) that, for Prime Minister Modi, the entire country is his family,” the BJP leader said, asserting that the people of the country will give a befitting reply to the “political arrogance” of the opposition parties.
Some opposition parties have formed the bloc INDIA to take on the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Trivedi said Modi left his home long ago with a resolve to work for society and take India to its highest glory, considering the entire country his family.
“That’s why he never gets tired. No one feels tired while working for their families. That’s why Prime Minister Modi did not take leave even for a single day in the last 10 years,” he added.
The BJP spokesperson said while the saffron party’s goal under the leadership of Modi is to make India a developed country by 2047, the opposition parties have the sole target of “gaining power and keeping it in their families’ hands till 2047 to strengthen their economy. (PTI)