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Don't touch my feet, work hard to show respect: Modi tells MPs

Last updated on: June 06, 2014 14:51 IST

In an unusual advice to Bharatiya Janata Party Members of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked his party MPs not to show him respect by touching his feet or greeting other senior leaders by touching their feet.

He also asked them to remain connected to the ground and not let any complacency eclipse the party's performance which catapulted it to power.

The prime minister on Friday introduced to the Lok Sabha 43 of the 44 members of his Council of Ministers.

In a clear message to his party's newly-elected lawmakers, Modi said as BJP was no longer in the opposition, its MPs had a far bigger responsibility in taking the message of the government to the grassroots level and highlight its programmes.

In his 20-minute speech in the Central Hall of Parliament, Modi exhorted the MPs to remain in touch with the people at the grassroots and not lower their guard.

The prime minister also asked them to help in the smooth running of the House and attend the sessions of Parliament full-time while maintaining its dignity.

Sources said the prime minister also asked the MPs not to talk to the media as spokespersons of the party but raise the issues of their own area and constituency with them instead.

He also urged them to come armed with knowledge and do their homework properly before participating in Parliament debates.

He said being present during debates will be a good learning ground for them on various issues.

BJP patriarch L K Advani, in his address, also asked BJP MPs to continue to work for the welfare of the common people and consolidate on the gains as the party had come a long way from mere 2 MPs to the 282-member strong force with a majority of its own in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

BJP President and Home Minister Rajnath Singh also welcomed the new party MPs and asked them to work hard for further success of the party and uplift of common people.

All ministers were introduced in the House, barring Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) Piyush Goyal, who was absent.

After Goyal's name was announced by Modi, some Congress members shouted that he was not present in the House.

"Then I will introduce him the next time," Modi said and continued announcing the names of other ministers.

Those introduced included the BJP top-brass like Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance, Corporate and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, Parliamentary Affairs, Urban Development, Housing and Poverty Alleviation Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Surface Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation Nitin Gadkari.

Among the ministers representing BJP's allies were Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Anant Geete (Shiv Sena), Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD) and Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju (TDP).

Others introduced by the Prime Minister included Social Justice and Empowerment Minister T C Gehlot, HRD Minister Smriti Zubin Irani and Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan.

There are 22 Cabinet Ministers, 10 Ministers of State with independent charge and 12 Ministers of State.

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