Modi's poll-winning formula: Take Budget 2018's welfare schemes to masses

Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves at the public during an election campaign rally ahead of Tripura Assembly Election in Sonamura on Thursday. | Photo: PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs to take welfare schemes announced in Budget 2018 to the masses, saying that popularising them would lead to the party winning in the polls, according to leaders present at the meeting. 

The MPs' success is linked to the party's performance, the prime minister told the BJP parliamentary meeting, the leaders said.

Party president Amit Shah also spoke at the meeting and blamed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's "undemocratic" politics for his party members heckling the prime minister during his speech in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Modi dwelt at length on the Union budget, calling it especially positive for farmers and the poor while citing the announcement of a health insurance scheme for 100 million (10 crore) families, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters.

Modi asked MPs to inform the masses about various pro-people features of the Budget.

The prime minister also asked the gathering to hold meetings at booths to take various welfare schemes announced in the Budget to people and run intensive campaigns to propagate them, Kumar said.

Some leaders present at the meeting later said the prime minister underlined the importance of popularising these schemes for winning polls and told them that their win was linked to the party's victory.

He asked them to hold mock parliaments in various places to discuss the Budget and praised Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's reply in the Lok Sabha during a discussion on it.

Modi also heaped praise on Shah for his maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha.

Modi made a reference to his rally in Tripura, which goes to the polls on February 18, on Thursday and said a huge crowd had arrived despite attempts of the state's Left government to prevent people from attending it.

Shah hit out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in his address, Kumar said.

Never before in the parliamentary history was a prime minister's reply to the President's address disrupted by the Oppositon, Shah said, referring to Congress protests in the well of the Lok Sabha during Modi's over 90-minute speech on Wednesday.

Gandhi's mindset is "undemocratic" and that is why the prime minister had to speak amid disruptions, he said.

When Manmohan Singh was prime minister for over 10 years, such a situation never occurred, he said.

Shah also touched on the Congress' attack on the government over the Rafale aircraft deal, saying Jaitley in his speech had touched on its various aspects.

"The broader details of the deal have been shared in Parliament. But every detail, including those about its weapons and their cost, cannot be made public," Kumar quoted Shah as saying.  

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