BJP national vice-president and Madhya Pradesh in-charge Vinay Sahasrabuddhe on Monday said his party’s Gareeb Kalyan agenda is not a political, but a humane programme which aims to alleviate poverty and make the poor and farmers self-reliant.
He said the ‘garibi hatao’ (eradicate poverty) slogan of Congress has not made much of a difference at the ground level, which has prompted his party to come up with a comprehensive and inclusive agenda on how to “free people from the shackles of the poverty”.
Sahasrabuddhe is the fourth member of the Gareeb Kalyan committee along with the chief ministers of three BJP-ruled states — Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Maharashtra’s Devendra Fadnavis and Jharkhand’s Raghubar Das. Chouhan is the convenor of the committee, which will set common goals to pursue by the BJP-ruled states in a time-bound manner to ensure benefits of government schemes and will submit a report to BJP national president Amit Shah.
Speaking to the media before the second meeting of the committee, Sahasrabuddhe said they will discuss various issues concerning welfare of poor and poverty alleviation. “We will discuss issues like housing for all, education of poor, healthcare, employment avenues and ways to double the income of the farmers,” he said
Sahasrabuddhe said they will also deliberate on strengthening the scope and implementation of the government’s pro-poor welfare schemes.
“We have discussed many of these already. But now it will be more focused. The outcome will be presented to party president Amit Shah as a draft,” he said.
‘People getting free stuff not healthy custom in the long run’
Vinay Sahasrabuddhe on Monday said people getting used to getting free stuff is not healthy a tradition in the long run, stressing that the government is committed to long-term welfare schemes, which focus on empowering citizens and making them self reliant.
During an informal interaction with the media, Sahasrabuddhe, when asked to comment on BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya’s recent statement on how good leaders focus on long-term public welfare schemes, said the government at times has to go for populist schemes like providing relief to farmers when they are in distress or during natural disasters. However, he added that barring these exceptional circumstances, the norm of a good governance is empowering people.
“If Kailash Vijayvargiya says something about some officials, it doesn’t mean he is targeting the government. I have not come across his statement. We take his views in the right spirit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in the empowerment of people. Our countrymen have a strong sense of self respect; they don’t like to have free stuff all the time. People want to work hard and earn their livelihood with self respect,” Sahasrabuddhe said.
“But we cannot have same standard for all schemes. We can’t afford to go to extremes. At times, when people are in a difficult situation like a natural disaster, the government has to provide them relief by providing them free stuff,” he said.
Vijayvargiya’s statement holds significance as chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has taken many populist decisions this year, including the buying over 10 lakh quintals of onions from farmers. Meanwhile, BJP leaders in the state have been avoiding commenting on Vijayvargiya’s statement — when questioned, most say such statements are Vijayvargiya’s personal views.