New Delhi: After BJP’s strong showing at the two state elections, nearly 400 NDA members of parliament squeezed into Race Course road for a high tea with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who asked them vigorously pilot and preach government schemes.
Also Read: Be a Symbol of Positive Political Entity: PM Tells NDA MPs at High Tea
As part of Modi’s Diwali Milan, he had invited 400 parliamentarians from both chambers for the first such meeting after NDA came to power. At the Diwali Milan, there were presentations made by four ministers on the major schemes during the two-hour session, but obviously the PM’s words were the most important.
In the first row, LK advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were seated along with current cabinet ministers, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari.
All the Shiv Sena members of parliament were present, including Union heavy industries minister Anant Geete – even as there was still uncertainty whether BJP and Shiv Sena will get together to form a government in Maharashtra.
Modi advocated his pet scheme of Clean India, which he pointed out had got tremendous response from all over the country. The PM said that Swacch Bharat would be an ideal platform for NDA MPs to “connect with the people”.
PM urged them to visit schools in their areas over a five-day period beginning November 14 – the 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, and explain to children the importance of hygiene. “This would send a positive message,” he said.
In fact, the main theme of Modi’s speech seemed to be for the parliamentarians to latch onto schemes which have a more universal appeal.
"Let us think big. Let us think far. Let us think above politics,” Modi said, describing the NDA MPs as a “force of tremendous positive energy, which could help chart a new course for the country”.
He admitted that Swachh Bharat is tough, but pointed out just as India achieved zero polio status, the objectives of the ambitious scheme were also achievable.
He also urged MPs to preach about the work done by the NDA Government for the welfare of the poor.
Besides Modi, BJP President Amitbhai Shah and former president LKAdvani also spoke.
In fact, Modi felicitated Shah with a special shawl to mark victory of BJP at Haryana and Maharashtra elections.
Advani said that this “Diwali was the best he had ever witnessed, as the party had risen to unprecedented heights”.
The presentations were made by Finance and Defence minister Arun Jaitley on the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, coal, gas pricing and diesel deregulation. Rural Development minister Nitin Gadkari spoke about the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana and Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar briefed the MPs on the various initiatives taken under the Shramev Jayate Karyakram.
Meanwhile, parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu gave “some tips” to the MPs for the upcoming winter session of Parliament, which will begin in second half of November.
Speaking to reporters after the session, BJP’s Manoj Tiwari said that such events should take place more often. “He guided us on how to serve people, got a chance to learn from his experiences,” said Anurag Thakur of BJP.