Acknowledging that it was still far from addressing its core issues of abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, introduction of a Uniform Civil Code and construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, the BJP unleashed a blitzkrieg of events on Tuesday to mark the completion of one year of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who kick-started the festivities with a rally near Mathura on Monday, visited the BJP headquarters here to celebrate with party functionaries. With the Opposition accusing the government of being anti-farmer, he devoted considerable time to farmers, dwelling on the lot of the farming community while launching the Kisan Channel.
He did not mention of the land acquisition Bill, but he made oblique references to some of the arguments put forth time and again by senior Ministers advocating the amendment to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
Launching a booklet, Saal Ek, Shuruat Anek (One year, several beginnings) at a press conference here, party president Amit Shah said the BJP would require 370 seats in Parliament to address its core issues.
Asked whether the party had given up on its core issues, Mr. Shah said, “The BJP is running the central government as part of the National Democratic Alliance. As per the Constitution, we need 370 to address our core issues. Please read the Constitution.” The party has 281 members in a house of 545 in the Lok Sabha and is in a minority in the Rajya Sabha.
Modi’s DMs go to millions
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Hamid Ansari on his completion of a year in office on Tuesday. He began his day with a tweet “It’s been a year!” followed by another: “#SaalEkShuruaatAnek” (One year, many beginnings), the government’s tagline for the anniversary.
He interacted with officers of the Prime Minister’s Office and its website got a facelift on the occasion.
Most morning newspapers across the country had front-paged his letter to fellow Indians which began with him saying that he had “devoted every moment of every day, and every element of my body and spirit” to the service of the nation. Among the steps taken by his government, he listed enhancing support to farmers hit by natural calamities to defending their interests at the WTO and irrigating fields.
Also, customised direct messages (DMs) were sent out from the Prime Minister’s personal Twitter handle to his followers that run into millions.
Each message signed by him was addressed in the name of the recipient and invited recipients to look at a link detailing India’s “rapid strides towards all-round development’’ under his watch. Ironically, it was not just Indians who got the DMs. The recipients included people living overseas, including Pakistanis.
The anniversary celebrations were spread across the country, with Home Minister Rajnath Singh addressing a rally in Kolkata, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaking in Ahmedabad, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad holding a meeting in Bengaluru and Highways and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari attending an event in Patna.
BJP national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi spoke in Jammu and Kashmir. The party will hold over 4,000 meetings up to the block level in the coming days.
Maintaining that the government had ended the policy paralysis and trust deficit during the previous government’s term, BJP president Amit Shah said here that Mr. Modi had provided a visible and proactive government that had restored people’s faith and pride in the PMO.