Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj on Sunday urged the chief ministers and their colleagues in the BJP-ruled states to win over the Opposition by means of dinner diplomacy and personal touch.
She was speaking at the concluding session of the two-day national convention on good governance at Uttan near Bhayander where she asked the delegates to adopt a consensus with the Opposition rather than a confrontation to ensure smooth governance of their states.
“Even a small gesture like sending flowers to sick legislators or inquiring about their health can work wonders,” said Swaraj.
She gave her own example when as a Union health minister, she had ordered leading hospitals in Delhi to inform her if any Member of Parliament was sick. “I used to get the news within five minutes of their admission to hospitals and I used to personally visit them, or send a bouquet through a senior official within half an hour,” said Swaraj.
She said that this has a significant impact especially in the cases of smaller parties who bail the government out during crises. She also advised the state government to organise a minimum of three dinners annually to establish harmonious relations with the Opposition.
With regards to the personal touch with the Opposition, she said the ruling party must give priority to appointments sought by the Opposition leader.
“You should send your secretary to receive him when he alights from the car and welcome him yourself,” she added.
“This will ensure harmony and decrease the aggression of the Opposition parties,” she said.
Before the start of the Assembly session, the important bills should be discussed with the Opposition and support should be sought for their passage, she added.