The Congress was responsible for India being "dependent", while Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the country self-reliant, BJP president J P Nadda said here on Friday.
Addressing a "prabuddhjan sammelan" (meeting of the intellectuals) organised by the BJP's Lucknow unit at the Indira Gandhi Pratisthaan, Nadda cited a survey by a news channel, which showed Modi as the most popular prime minister and Yogi Adityanath as the most popular chief minister.
Nadda also took a jibe at former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, whose name figured at the bottom of the list.
"The Congress always ridiculed schemes of Modi but these schemes had impact on lives of the ordinary citizens," he said.
Nadda said the Congress made a "nirbhar Bharat" (dependent India), while Modi made an "aatmanirbhar Bharat" (self-reliant India).
"Congress has raised questions on Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan also. They had forced the country to stay dependent. Do they know what self-reliance is?" he asked.
Referring to the "poor" law and order in the state during the earlier regimes, Nadda said: "By the efforts of the Adityanath government, not only the goons, even the leaders have understood what is law and order."
Earlier, addressing party workers during a 'booth president conference', Nadda said his party had a leader and the intention to take it forward, unlike other political outfits, which he accused of being dynastic.
He claimed that dynastic politics could be found in all political parties, except the Bharatiya Janata Party, in which an ordinary person could become a prime minister, defence minister or the home minister.
The BJP president had arrived in Lucknow on Thursday to hold discussions with party office-bearers in Uttar Pradesh, where the assembly polls will be held next year. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also attended the event.
"We have leader, intention, policy, workers and programme. We have no reason to stop," Nadda told party workers.
"In the country, there are around 1,500 political parties. Of these, some are of national level, while some are of regional level. But, I always say that a person should consider himself/herself the most fortunate from the political point of view if he/she gets an opportunity to work as a worker of the BJP," he said
Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nadda said even the US could not decide between the options of economy and health. As a result, he added, it was a political and an electoral issue, and there was an electoral loss.
Nadda said the US, Spain and Italy, which have better healthcare system, collapsed because the leadership did not take the decision at the appropriate time.
"Here, Modiji took the decision at the right time, imposed a lockdown with timely intervention and bold decision and saved the country," Nadda said.
He added that at the time of the imposition of the lockdown, the testing capacity was 150 samples per day and it is 10 lakh per day today and over 1.5 lakh per day in the state.
"At the onset of the lockdown, PPE kits were imported and today over five lakh PPE kits are being made per day," he said.
"India has the best recovery rate and lowest mortality rate. Today, our recovery rate is above 97 per cent and it is increasing every day."
"UP's population is 24 crore and the population of the US is 33 crore. There, the number of people who have died is four lakh. Every life is important. Here, it is 8,000. We have to understand this difference," the BJP chief said.
Nadda said the image of India had changed due to the 'swachhta abhiyan' and the toilets constructed in various households were not merely toilets, they are "izzat ghar" (homes of honour) for women".
"The Ujjawla Yojana was not merely a scheme, it empowered the women," he said, adding that Uttar Pradesh bothered about every migrant labourer who passed through the state during the nationwide lockdown.
Nadda also mentioned the benefits of various schemes of the Centre and achievement of the BJP-led government, including anti-triple talaq law.
He urged the party workers to link every farmer with the farmer producer organisation and told them to implement social harmony in letter and spirit.
Nadda also interacted with party workers on Friday.
Later in the day, Nadda viewed a statue of Lord Ram at the headquarters of the state unit of the BJP.
Adityanath, Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, BJP's UP incharge Radha Mohan Singh, BJP state president Swatantra Dev Singh and state BJP general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal were present.
Adityanath said the BJP had set new standards for political parties.
Dynastic politics, casteism, regionalism and linguistic divisions weaken democracy and challenge the unity and integrity of the country, Adityanath said.