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Modi ministers to 'expose' oppn, highlight achievements

December 18, 2015 02:16 IST

National Democratic Alliance ministers will fan out across the country from January to "expose" the Opposition's "stalling tactics" in Parliament due to which several key bills are stuck and highlight the government's achievements seeking to project it as "pro-poor".

At a meeting of the Council of Ministers at his residence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the ministers to "feel upbeat" about what the government is doing and "not get rattled" by the attack by the Opposition, which he alleged was building a "campaign on falsehood".

During the meeting that lasted one-and-a-half-hours, the prime minister asked his Cabinet colleagues to take up the "challenge" of reaching the message about the government's functioning to people through better connect with them.

A detailed plan will be chalked out later but the ministers have been asked to start visiting constituencies from the second week of January and spend at least 30 hours in areas assigned to them.

Asking the ministers to periodically review the functioning of their departments, the prime minister stressed on the need to bring in innovative ideas for enhanced performance and improve the image of the government.

Modi was of the view that effort should be made to increase people's participation in preparing budget for central government schemes and there should be "no last minute rush" to spend the money at the fag end of a financial year.

It was also decided that each minister would undertake a tour of two Parliamentary constituencies to apprise people of the decisions taken by the Modi government in the interest of the common man since it came to power in 2014.

Sources said the prime minister was keen that the achievements of the government are taken to people in the simplest possible language.

The general view at the meeting was that as the winter session is about to end on December 23, it was time the government concentrated on "exposing" the Opposition outside Parliament.

This view came amid broad indications that the government would not be able to get the GST bill passed during the winter session with Congress stalling Parliament on National Herald case and other issues.

At a time when the government is facing a combined attack from the Opposition on many issues and a spirited campaign by Congress in particular, the prime minister told the ministers that they should be confident as a large number of things have been done for the country during the NDA rule which were not done earlier, the sources said.

"Feel upbeat about what we are doing and should not get rattled by the Opposition attack, which is building a campaign on falsehoods," the Prime Minister said.

The prime minister also appealed to his ministerial colleagues to work for the poor and care for them through the schemes.

"The government has to work for the poor. They will stand by you. The government should be looked at as one that cares for the poor," he is learnt to have said.

All NDA ministers including allies like Ram Vilas Paswan of Lok Janshakti Party and Upendra Kushwaha (Rashtriya Lok Samta Party) were present, and so were top Bharatiya Janata Party ministers such as Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Manohar Parrikar. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in the eye of the raging storm over alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association when he headed it, was conspicuous by his absence.

The pro-poor pitch of the government comes at a time when it is under increasing attack from Opposition for allegedly "ignoring the poor and catering to the rich only".

"We have done many good things and many other things are to be done. When you meet people, carry the message to the people," the prime minister said and advised the ministers to keep handy notes to make right points when they communicate with people.

He asked the ministers to remain in touch with party workers and meet them every weekend, besides being in regular touch with people.

On the North-East, which is a priority area for the Modi government, the Prime Minister asked the ministers to visit the northeastern states more frequently and come up with inputs for the development of the region. 

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