PM Modi to MPs: With Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha, your leisure days are over
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PM Modi to MPs: With Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha, your leisure days are over

The Prime Minister lauded Amit Shah at a BJP parliamentary party meeting.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2017 22:23 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Amit Shah,Narendra Modi,Jan Sangh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah during the BJP parliamentary party meeting in New Delhi on Thursday.(PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday warned BJP MPs that their leisure time in the Parliament might be over now that party president Amit Shah had become a Rajya Sabha member.

The BJP was left red-faced in the Upper House last week when the Congress exploited thin attendance in the treasury benches to amend a bill on constitutional status to OBC Commission. Several ministers had skipped the voting, which upset the Prime Minister.

Addressing the last meeting of BJP’s parliamentary party in the monsoon session, the PM reiterated his displeasure at MPs skipping Parliament sittings despite clear instructions to attend them.

“He made a very brief mention about the issue,” a BJP MP present in the meeting said. “The PM mostly spoke on how MPs need to pull up their socks and start taking their assignments seriously.” Modi told the MPs that the party was above him and all of them.

The Prime Minister hoped that Shah’s presence in the Parliament will bring about favourable outcomes for the BJP. Shah got elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat on Tuesday.

Outside, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayavargiya echoed Modi’s views and said that Shah was a “strict boss” who has strong disliking for indiscipline. “MPs will be on their toes now,” he said. Modi also praised Shah for working towards making the BJP a robust organisation and the world’s largest political outfit. “It is not easy to run the party when it is in power,” Modi said.

At the parliamentary party meeting, Modi also set out targets for party legislators and suggested that they start preparing for the next parliamentary elections from now.

BJP parliamentarians and leaders have been asked to take out a Tiranga Yatra from August 9 to 15 and a Sankalp Yatra from August 15 to 30.

Modi said that like the 1942 sankalp (resolve) to get independence saw the light of the day in 1947, the BJP should resolve in 2017 to weed out social ills, such as corruption, by 2022. “You were sceptical about the Tiranga Yatra last year,” Modi told the party’s MPs. “But the response to it left all of you impressed.”

Shah, too, spoke at the meeting about the recent Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat and how the Congress got the support of just 44 MLAs when it originally had the backing of 61.

Shah suggested that Ahmed Patel would have lost the election if the votes of two Congress MLAs were not declared invalid.

“He managed to win with a margin of 0.41%,” Shah said, adding that the party was working towards winning at least 150 out of a total of 182 assembly seats in the election that is due later this year.

First Published: Aug 10, 2017 17:53 IST