Today's Newspaper

Do ‘dabba pe charcha’ with masses: PM to MPs

| | New Delhi

With an eye on a slew of elections this year and the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked all BJP MPs to carry their dabba (tiffin boxes) and engage with the masses in every constituency to make them aware of the welfare schemes announced for them in the Budget.

The suggestion from the Prime Minister for the “tiffin pe charcha” came in the BJP’s Parliamentary Party meeting and was appreciated by party MPs who felt that it could facilitate a genuine dialogue with the common public and encourage greater participation. Wider interactions with the masses could go hand-in-hand with sharing of home-cooked food, a throwback to their school days, the MPs averred after the meeting.

“The home tiffin would not only save high expenses that go into organising such events but also encourage fellow-feeling and authentic exchange of views on Government’s latest plans and policies in the Union Budget for the benefit of the poor,” said Meenakshi Lekhi, MP from Delhi.

After the much talked about “chai pe charcha” campaign during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, this innovative idea from Modi surely came with the elections in

mind and he made no bones about the fact that popularising the Government’s schemes would lead the party to victory in the polls.

The Prime Minster asked MPs to spread the good points of the Union Budget 2018-19 among the people over lunch while sharing their tiffin.

Modi described how he held discussions with party cadre in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi over lunch by bringing his own tiffin and other participants carrying and sharing their own in the meeting. He asked MPs to do the ‘tiffin pe charcha’ in every Assembly segment of a

parliamentary constituency during the Budget Session break until March 6.

The Prime Minister described the Budget as positive for the middle class and farmers and asked them to discuss its benefits among the masses. He said since MPs are representatives of people they should convey the benefits of Government programmes to the people in their respective constituencies.

For his part, BJP president Amit Shah who attended the meeting branded his

Congress counterpart Rahul Gandhi’s politics as “undemocratic” and suggested ways to counter his criticism of the Rafale fighter deal.

In his address, Shah attacked Rahul for raising questions over the Rafale deal and creating pandemonium in the Lok Sabha during the Prime Minister’s reply to the debate on the President’s address on Wednesday. Never before in the parliamentary history was a Prime Minister’s reply to the President’s address disrupted by the Opposition, Shah said at the meeting.

“Rahulji’s style of politics is undemocratic. Hence there was such disruption in the Lok Sabha during the speech of the Prime Minister,” Ananth Kumar, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, quoted Shah as saying.

On Friday also Congress members shouted slogans and held placards demanding details of India’s Rafale deal from the Government and raising slogans in the Lok Sabha.

At the BJP meeting, two booklets containing the Prime Minister’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos and Shah’s speech at various platforms were distributed among the MPs.

The booklet, with the title “Unbeatable Global Legend”, contains articles published in around 25 global newspapers about Modi’s speech at Davos. BJP sources said the booklet was prepared by party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.



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