On Christmas Day BJP MPs will have their hands full

Modi govt. is observing Good Governance Day on that day

December 17, 2014 02:17 am | Updated April 07, 2016 05:11 am IST - New Delhi:

The Modi government’s next mega event to showcase its achievements and intentions will be on December 25: in the 281 constituencies that they represent, BJP MPs will be hard at work, celebrating Good Governance Day as a tribute to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose birthday falls on that day.

There will be no Christmas Day for any of them.

Leading the way will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will spend the day in Varanasi.

Simultaneously, the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, sources said, has been asked to activate the 2,70,000 youth clubs around the country that come under the Nehru Yuva Kendra — thus named by an earlier government — to also celebrate Christmas Day as Good Governance Day.

So, even as Parliament remained convulsed on the issue of official circulars on Good Governance Day for the second consecutive day, and the Modi government clarified that schools would not be open on Christmas Day, it went ahead with other plans for the day.

When asked how this would be taken by Christians, especially in some States in the north-east where the majority of the population belong to the community, top sources in the Ministry insisted that it was “voluntary,” and that those who did not want to participate in it were free to do so. Surely some other day could have been chosen? It can’t be helped, they said as the government wanted to institute Mr. Vajpayee’s birthday as Good Governance Day.

The day will begin at 7 a.m., said one BJP MP, with yet one more observance of the government’s flagship Swatch Bharat Abhiyan, a half marathon and a slew of other programmes to draw in as many young participants as possible. Everything should end sometime in the afternoon.

Indeed, at the BJP parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday, Mr. Modi told MPs that a range of seminars, conferences, debates and discussions on good governance, addressed by top BJP leaders, would mark the day. Suggestions from the public to improve governance would be elicited and literature on the subject relating to Mr. Vajpayee’s six-year tenure as Prime Minister as well as the initiatives taken by the present government in its first six months will be distributed. Additionally, health, eye-care and blood donation camps, and distribution of blankets and other essentials to the poor in hospitals will mark the day.

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