"When I joined party in 1982, I was a booth member, and without any political backing, I went on to become the party president from the booth president and this shows the proof of the internal democracy in the party," he said addressing a gathering this evening.
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, senior leader L K Advani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were first generation leaders of the party and they did not have any political background. This was internal democracy, he said.
"Can anybody tell me who will be BJP chief after me? Nobody can tell. But everybody can easily tell you who will be the party president after Sonia Gandhi (in the Congress)," he said.
Shah said that BJP chooses its leadership on the basis of work, dedication, vision and character from the grassroot level unlike other parties.
"This is the difference between the BJP and the rest of the parties. Take for example Samajwadi Party after Mulayam Singh Yadav. His son Akhilesh took over the party," he said.
Shah said most parties had such a leadership but out of 1,650 political parties only the BJP and the CPI-M kept alive their internal democracy and constitutional values.
"Tell me what is the ideology of the Congress...Before Independence, it was not a party based on ideology. It was a group of people with different ideologies who had come together for free India," he said.
"It was a special purpose vehicle for all of those with different ideologies including socialists, leftists, Hindus, Muslims etc. Who wanted to see country independent," he said.
He claimed the Congress got limited to one family after Independence and even other parties got separated from it due to family politics.
Shah said unlike a party which is limited to one family's interests, only the party (the BJP) which is run on principals and upholds its internal constitutional values can work in the country's interests.
He said the party which has internal democracy will ensure real democracy in the country and keep the democratic values alive.
The parties which are for welfare of individual families and are run by them cannot ensure development of the country as they only undertake welfare of those individuals and families who run those parties.
He expressed hope that the internal democratic set up of the party which was formulated by Bhartiya Jan Sangh leader Deendayal Upadhyay would continue in its strongest form in the years to come.
He said under the parliamentary system, parties are bigger than individuals and stressed that for development and progress people should support the BJP as parties with ideologies work for the last man in the row.
Shah said four factors are needed to make a party powerful. First, the party's internal democracy should be very strong. Second, the party should be based on a strong ideology as the governments that are formed become the spokesperson of these ideologies rather than of individuals.
Third, the working of the party depends upon the mandate of the people which defines their working and fourth the leadership of the party decides its fate, he said.
Shah said the people should compare national and regional political parties with the BJP in terms of governance on the basis of these four points to see which party gives a powerful democracy and government and leads to a powerful country.
"From the Bhartiya Jan Sangh to the Janata Party and to the BJP--from 1980 till today--the party maintains in high spirits its internal democracy as per its constitution," he added.
He asked the people to support the BJP and said Jammu and Kashmir, which is a border state, should become the power centre of the party and nationalist forces.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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