Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BJP membership drive in Varanasi on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)

PM Modi Launches BJP Membership Drive From Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the Bharatiya Janata Party’s membership drive from his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi, noting that it will further connect people from all walks of life with the BJP.

The launch of the BJP membership drive in Varanasi coincided with the 118th birth anniversary of the party's founder, Syama Prasad Mookerjee.

"From the soil of Kashi, I greet each dedicated worker of the party. I got an opportunity to launch the BJP's membership campaign from Kashi," Modi said at the launch event.

He also talked about the Union Budget 2019-20 and expressed his thoughts on India's growth trajectory in the coming years.

A "New India" was on the threshold of racing ahead, said the prime minister.

"It is important to know about the $5 trillion Indian economy because some people were casting doubts over the competency of Indians, saying that achieving the target is very difficult. These people are professional pessimists,” Modi said.

Earlier, soon after his arrival in Varanasi on a day-long visit, Modi unveiled a statue of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri at the airport.

The prime minister was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP working president JP Nadda and the UP BJP president, Mahendra Nath Pandey.

Anil Shastri and Sunil Shastri, sons of late Lal Bahadur Shastri, were present at the venue as was UP minister Siddharth Nath Singh, a kin of the former prime minister.

After unveiling Shastri’s statue, Modi proceeded to launch a tree-plantation campaign 'Anand Kanan' in Varanasi.

He then paid tributes to Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the Jana Sangh founder, on his 118th birth anniversary, saying his contribution to national integration will always be remembered. In a tweet, he described Mookerjee as a great educationist and a bright nationalist thinker.

Saturday marked Modi's second visit to his constituency after winning the Lok Sabha elections held in April-May. He had visited Varanasi on May 27 to thank the city’s voters who voted him to power for a second consecutive time by a margin of 4.79 lakh votes.

Bloomberg Quint

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