Think above politics: Modi to MPs over tea

Think above politics: Modi to MPs over tea

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday exhorted MPs from the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to think above politics and ensure implementation of government schemes such as the Clean India Mission in their constituencies.

It was a “back-to-school” experience for NDA MPs, including BJP veteran L K Advani, as Modi dwelt at length over the various initiatives taken by the Centre including the Jan Dhan Yojana and Saansad Aadarsh Gram Yojana.

Sunday also marked the completion of five months of Modi government. Interestingly, at the high-tea hosted by Modi for NDA MPs, the BJP made no effort to reach out to Shiv Sena with which it had parted ways ahead of the bitterly fought Maharashtra Assembly elections.

The BJP emerged as the single largest party in Maharashtra, but 22 seats short of majority. Back channel talks are on with the Shiv Sena, which has 63 MLAs, for support to form the government. Most of the 21 Shiv Sena MPs were present at the high-tea.

“Let us think big. Let us think far. Let us think above politics,” Modi told about 400 MPs gathered at his official 7, Race Course Road residence.

Keeping true to Modi-style, the two-hour meeting was more business-like with ministers making presentations on the initiatives taken by them.

While Finance Minister Arun Jaitley briefed the MPs about de-regulation of diesel prices, Jan Dhan Yojana and coal and gas pricing, Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari made a presentation on the initiative under which a MP is expected to identify a village and turn it into a ‘model village’. Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar made presentation on Labour Reforms.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, the Master of Ceremonies, gave some tips on the upcoming winter session of Parliament.

Modi asked the MPs to visit schools between November 14 and 19—the birth anniversaries of late prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi—to spread the message of cleanliness and hygiene.

“The meeting was like a school, where headmaster Modi gave directions to MPs,” a parliamentarian, who attended the meeting told Deccan Herald. “His (Modi’s) message is always for public good. He told us how to serve the people as ‘sevaks’,” said Kirti Azad, a Lok Sabha member from Darbhanga in Bihar.

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