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At BJP MPs meet, Modi suggests ‘lunch pe charcha’ to popularise budget

At the BJP parliamentary party meet, Amit Shah also rubbished Congress’ charges on the Rafale aircraft deal saying every detail cannot be made public.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2018 22:55 IST
Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,Amit Shah,lunch pe charcha
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP president Amit Shah and home minister Rajnath Singh at the BJP parliamentary party meeting, during the Budget session 2018-19 of Parliament in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told BJP MPs at the parliamentary party meeting on Friday to hold ‘tiffin meetings’ (lunch pe charcha) at polling stations in their constituencies to highlight the benefits given to the middle class and farmers in his government’s budget, two Union ministers said.

Modi addressed BJP MPs on the concluding day of the budget session, asking them to utilise the recess to educate people about the benefits of the budget.

“Modi said the ‘tiffin meeting’ is a successful and cheap medium to communicate and should be used to spread the highlights of the budget,” a minister said.

The meetings are also seen as an effort to reach out to the grassroots level ahead of the general elections early in 2019.

These meetings were first held by the BJP in Gujarat ahead of the 2012 assembly elections, where elected representatives carried their food to public meetings and had lunch with workers and the public. Modi also carried his tiffin to a rally in Varanasi in 2016.

Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said Modi termed the budget “positive” and said it focused on farmers and the middle class.

Among others, the budget announced a Rs 5 lakh health insurance cover for 500 million poor and promised a Minimum Support Price (MSP) that is 50% more than the cost of farmers’ produce.

The government also set a target of constructing more than 10 million homes for the rural poor between 2017 and 2019. The BJP feels these two schemes will be the game changer in 2019.

In his address, BJP chief Amit Shah launched an attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Kumar said Shah asked lawmakers to launch a counter offensive on the Congress.

He also asked MPs to highlight that it was the Modi government which ensured benefits of welfare schemes, irrespective of which government launched the scheme, reached every person.

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 15:21 IST