On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday appealed to the party workers to help those in need and reaffirm the importance of social distancing amid the Coronavirus pandemic that has so far claimed 109 lives in India.

“We mark our party’s 40th anniversary when India is battling COVID-19. I appeal to BJP Karyakartas to follow the set of guidelines from our party president JP Nadda-ji, help those in need and reaffirm the importance of social distancing. Let’s make India COVID-19-free,” PM Modi said in a series of tweets.

Tweeting the guidelines by Nadda, he said that all BJP workers will provide one meal on the occasion of the saffron party’s Foundation Day as a way to show solidarity with people facing hardships during the lockdown due to the novel Coronavirus.

He also pointed out that whenever the BJP has been given the opportunity to serve, it has focused on good governance and empowering the poor.

“In line with the party’s ethos, our karyakartas (workers) have worked hard to bring a positive difference in the lives of many and done great social service,” the Prime Minister wrote on Twitter.

PM Modi also greeted the party workers on the occasion while recalling the contribution of those who toiled for decades to build the party.

“Tributes to all those who have toiled hard to build the party for decades, due to which BJP has got the opportunity to serve crores of Indians across our nation”s length and breadth,” he said.

The Prime Minister also extended his greetings on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti.

“Happy Mahavir Jayanti to all countrymen. His life based on truth, non-violence, renunciation and austerity will always remain an inspiration for everyone,” PM Modi posted.

As the BJP completed 40 years of its foundation, Union Home Minister Amit Shah called the party a “true carrier” of the country’s democracy.

In a series of tweets, he said that BJP has always devoted itself to the national interest with its nationalist ideology and principles. He added that the BJP is realising the idea of reconstruction and social welfare under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP’s origin lies in the Bhartiya Jana Sangh, that was formed in 1951 by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.

After the Emergency in 1977, the Jana Sangh merged with several other parties to form the Janata Party and defeated the Congress in the 1977 general election.

After three years in power, the Janata Party dissolved in 1980 with the members of the erstwhile Jana Sangh reconvening to form the BJP.

The BJP grew in strength during the Ram Janambhoomi movement and formed its first government in Uttar Pradesh in 1991 under the leadership of Kalyan Singh.

Meanwhile, people across the country on Sunday responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to light lamps and candles for nine minutes to show solidarity in the fight against COVID-19. PM Modi, along with several political leaders and other celebrities, tweeted videos showing lamps at their residence.