Anniversary gifts coming on May 26

Centre to try out a new ‘politically saleable’ flagship scheme

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:35 pm IST

Published - May 21, 2015 04:31 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will announce new flagship schemes on May 26 to mark the first anniversary of the NDA government.

Mr. Modi, who returned home on Tuesday night after a six-day tour of China, Mongolia and South Korea, chaired a meeting of senior Cabinet Ministers here on Wednesday morning that discussed the new schemes to be announced.

A highly placed source told The Hindu that it was likely to be a social sector scheme aimed at reaching out to voters with the message that the Modi government was not just about being ‘business-friendly’ but was ‘pro-development’. More such schemes that could be taken up during the second year of the Modi government were discussed. “As all things Mr. Modi does, it will be a big announcement,” said the source.

Those present at the meeting included Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.

The Prime Minister also took stock of the government’s performance during its first year at this meeting and discussed the agenda for the government’s second year in office. BJP president Amit Shah met the Prime Minister in connection with the anniversary celebrations.

At the meeting, the Ministers are learnt to have told the Prime Minister that on the ground, the economy is still weak and the sentiment, though improving, is still not upbeat.

There is a feeling within the government, the source said, that it just might turn out to be difficult to politically sell ‘Make in India’ as a big accomplishment for the BJP, as the initiative is dependent for absolute success on a large number of factors that are beyond the government’s control and which cannot all be turned around within a five-year term. “For this reason, the government needs a flagship programme that is politically saleable,” said the source. Mr. Modi asked the Ministers to make sure that the government’s efforts at social sector initiatives were communicated well at the grassroots.

The BJP is planning grand celebrations to mark its first year in office. Mr. Modi will flag off the celebrations on May 25 with a rally in Mathura, the hometown of Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

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