Keep focus on Budget, stay away from Adani row: BJP to party leaders
The BJP leadership has asked party leaders to focus on highlighting the welfare aspects of the Union Budget and not get sidetracked by the controversy over the Hindenburg Research report on the Adani Group.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) leadership has asked party leaders to focus on highlighting the welfare aspects of the Union Budget and not get sidetracked by the controversy over the Hindenburg Research report on the Adani Group as the Opposition looks to corner the Centre over the activist investor group’s allegations, people aware of the matter said.
In its report, Hindenburg accused the conglomerate of improper use of tax havens and stock manipulation, while also raising concerns over high debt levels, leading to a massive fall in Adani Group stocks. Opposition MPs on Thursday disrupted Parliament as they demanded an investigation into the allegations against the Adani Group under the supervision of the Supreme Court or by a joint parliamentary committee.
From Saturday, Union ministers, lawmakers, legislators, and senior BJP leaders are set to hold interactions across the country to highlight the “welfare” and “pro-investment” aspects of the Union Budget, those aware of the details said. They added that party chief JP Nadda on Thursday met Union ministers in batches to apprise them of the places they will be visiting to address public meetings and the issues that they need to highlight.
“Union ministers have to wind up the exercise over the weekend. Press conferences will be held across 50 places. Chief ministers of BJP-ruled states will also address the media and, in non-BJP ruled states, state presidents, MPs, and other senior leaders will interact with people, organise townhall meetings at the state, district and mandal levels,” said a person aware of the details.
Anticipating questions on the government’s response to the Opposition’s demand for a probe against the Adani Group, the party leaders have been instructed to stick to the broader points of the Budget during their interactions, said the functionary.
“The government will do its work; these interactions are not platforms for a political slugfest,” the functionary said.
While most lawmakers declined to comment on the Opposition’s demand, a second party functionary said the issue has the potential to snowball into a controversy for the party.
The Budget outreach is being coordinated by senior BJP leader Sushil Modi and Union finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman will brief MPs of both the Houses about the finer aspects of the budget on Friday. Among the Union ministers who will be travelling for the outreach are information and broadcasting minister, Anurag Thakur who will be in Jammu; minister for information and technology, Rajeev Chandrashekhar who will be in Coimbatore; and union minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Shekhawat will be in Bhopal, people aware of the matter said.
“BJP president JP Nadda formed the task force comprising nine members, including national general secretary Sunil Bansal and presidents of the youth and the farmer’s wings to create awareness about the aspects of the budget across all the districts in the country,” a second leader said.