BJP to counter opposition onslaught

 BJP election rally in New Delhi.
BJP election rally in New Delhi.

Brajendra Nath Singh

In a move to counter opposition parties’ attack against the Modi government, the Bharatiya Janata Party is planning a major outreach programme involving its ministers and members of parliament.

According to party insiders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed all his ministers and BJP parliamentarians to visit their Lok Sabha constituencies and adopted villages, soon after the budget session of parliament ends on May 8. The National Democratic Alliance government completes its first year in office on May 26.

BJP’s South Delhi MP Ramesh Bidhri told IANS: “We have been asked to visit our constituencies after the budget session. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has been spreading misinformation against the government and we will aim to counter this.”

He said each MP will go to his or her constituency and apprise the people of the pro-poor steps taken by the government. “A Jan Sampark Abhiyan – a campaign to contact people – will be carried out to inform the people as to how misleading Rahul Gandhi’s propoganda has been,” he said.

The ministers have also been asked to spend at least one day between May 12 and 30 in the village each has adopted under the government’s Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna (SAGY), a party official who did not want to be identified told IANS.

Modi too is expected to visit his adopted village, Jayapur, in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, possibly on May 26.

This would be his second visit to the village as prime minister, party sources said.

The decision to start this campaign has been taken following the opposition’s attack on the government, and its bid to paint the government as anti-poor and pro-corporate, the source said.

Rahul Gandhi, who has struck an aggressive stance after returning from a two-month long sabbatical, has apparently been able to make a dent in the image of the Modi government, calling it a “suit-boot sarkar”, feel some party insiders.

During the stay in their constituencies or adopted villages, BJP MPs and ministers have been asked to talk about all the programmes that have been launched by the Modi government to help the poor.

Added to this will be the three social security schemes that Modi is scheduled to launch on May 9 in Kolkata. These include Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojna and Atal Pension Yojna.