NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hosted a high tea for all NDA MPs--the first such event after the BJP-led alliance stormed to power in May--and utilised the occasion to ask them to be a symbol of positive political entity.
At the event held at his Race Course residence, Modi also made a fervent appeal to all the NDA MPs for ensuring the success of his ambitious projects like 'Clean India' campaign, 'MP Model Village' scheme and 'Jan Dhan' project.
The meeting, the first such attempt by Modi after BJP-led NDA ousted the UPA, lasted for about two hours during which the MPs were also given presentations on PM's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Jan Dhan scheme, Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) and labour reforms by the Ministers concerned.
Today's 'Diwali Milan' get together hosted by the Prime Minister was equally significant as it came ahead of government formation in Maharashtra, amid speculation of a possible BJP-Shiv Sena tie-up.
All Shiv Sena MPs were also present, including Union Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete.
"There was an elaborate discussion on many issues which the government has brought to the nation. We had an address by the Prime Minister who talked about cleanliness, various issues before the government, how a common MP can turn things in this country, how a common MP can be a symbol of positive political entity and how the respectability of politicians can be enhanced in the country," BJP general Secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters after the meeting.
He said the Prime Minister talked on a gamut of subjects and his spectrum was very wide as the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere.
"The Prime Minister happily endorsed the achievements of the BJP and greeted Amit Shah on his victory in Haryana and Maharashtra," Rudy said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu coordinated the meeting where various departments made presentations.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made a presentation on the Jan Dhan Yojna while Labour Minister Narinder Singh Tomar made a presentation on the labour reforms. Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari also made a presentation on the Prime Minister's Adarsh Gram Vikas Yojna.
Geete said that all Shiv Sena MPs were there at the PM's "official" tea party.
"No political discussions took place during the meeting. It was purely an official function," he said.
Besides BJP and Sena MPs, those of other NDA allies Shiromani Akali Dal, TDP, LJP, Apna Dal and other Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs were present at the gathering.
"The Prime Minister interacted directly with the NDA MPs and it has been a historic experience," Rudy said.
Party vice president Purshottam Rupala said the meeting started with party veteran L K Advani giving his blessings and was followed by addresses by Jaitley and Gadkari.
"Later the Prime Minister appealed to the MPs to earnestly implement the Clean India Campaign in their respective areas and gave his best wishes," he said, adding that he exhorted them on how they can become a centre of leading the campaign in their areas.
RPI chief Ramdas Athawale later told reporters that he told BJP chief Amit Shah that BJP should form the government with Shiv Sena onboard in Maharashtra and keep NCP away from the alliance.
"I have requested Amit Shah and Rajiv Pratap Rudy that BJP should take the lead in forming the government in Maharashtra at the earliest. It is not good to form a government with the support of NCP," he told reporters.
He further added that a clear decision about the formation of a government in Maharashtra would emerge after top BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Nadda visit Mumbai.
He also proposed a formula, where the Maharashtra cabinet would comprise two-third of ministers from BJP and one-third belonging to Shiv Sena.
TDP Rajya Sabha MP C M Ramesh said the Prime Minister has suggested the MPs must participate in the Swachh Bharat initiative aggressively. "He also said that India will help Pakistan to eradicate polio from that country," he said.
Nobody from NDA's Tamil Nadu allies MDMK and DMDK as they do not have any leader elected as MP.
PMK MP Anbumani Ramadoss could not participate in the high tea owing to his daughter's marriage in Tamil Nadu, party sources said.
PMK is the lone ally in the NDA fold which won a seat in the Lok Sabha from Tamil Nadu.