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PM Modi’s mega video conference with BJP workers begins; Opposition red-flags timing

The Congress and AAP have criticised the Prime Minister for going ahead with the “Mera Booth, Sabse Mazboot” programme amid the border tension with Pakistan.

lok sabha elections Updated: Feb 28, 2019 12:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PM Modi's video conference,mera booth sabse mazboot programme,NaMo app
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address BJP workers, volunteers and others through his NaMo app on Feb 28, 2019.(Mohd Zakir/HT Photo )

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Thursday address about one crore people through what the BJP has said will be the “world’s largest video conference” as part of the ruling party’s campaign for the Lok Sabha election scheduled in April-May this year.

Several opposition parties, including the Congress, BSP and AAP, have criticised the Prime Minister for going ahead with the “Mera Booth, Sabse Mazboot” programme amid the border tension with Pakistan, who captured an Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman after a dog fight over each others’ airspace on Wednesday.

“Karyakartas (workers), volunteers and eminent citizens will connect with the Prime Minister through the NaMo app from around 15,000 locations at various districts and blocks,” BJP’s media head Anil Baluni had said in a statement.

Party president Amit Shah will attend the programme from the Delhi state BJP office, the statement added. All chief ministers and cabinet ministers of the BJP-ruled states are also expected to participate in the programme besides the party’s office bearers.

The party claimed that Modi’s address will reach approximately 10 crore people across various digital platforms.

Amit Shah had said on Sunday that people can send their questions through the NaMo app or using the hashtag #MeraBoothSabseMazboot on social media.

Modi is expected to speak to party workers over a host of political issues as the BJP gears up for the Lok Sabha elections, expected to be held in April-May.

The Congress party on Thursday questioned the Prime Minister’s attempts at canvassing.

“It is shameful that while India awaits the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan, our Prime Time PM cannot stop campaigning even for a few minutes. We stand with our soldiers & will continue to question the Modi Govt on their apathy,” the opposition party tweeted.

Senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala also posted his criticism of the ruling party over the “video conf record”.

“Glaring case of misplaced priorities! 132 Cr Indians pray for safe & immediate return of India’s brave-heart Wing Comm, Abhinandan but Modiji desperate only for re-election. Congress cancelled its imp CWC & Rally today. Pradhan Sevak hell-bent on creating a Video Conf. record! (sic)” Surjewala posted.

Surjewala was referring to the meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision making body of the party, which the grand old party deferred on Wednesday after the border tension. The CWC was to be attended by the Congress president Rahul Gandhi, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Also read: In Pakistan’s custody, IAF pilot is all about dignity, courage

“At a time when India is facing hostility of war and country needs firm leadership, PM Nrendra Modi instead of concentrating on the matters of national security trying to serve political interest by addressing his BJP workers is ridiculous besides betrayal of national sentiments (sic),” Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati tweeted.

And, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal also emphasised the need to secure the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan.

“I wud urge the PM to postpone this. At this moment, we as a nation, need to spend all our energies and time to get the IAF pilot back safely andto sternly deal wid Pak (sic),” the Delhi chief minister tweeted in the morning.

Before that, senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh had taken a dig at the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his mega-video conference.

“Entire Opposition is concerned over national security. (Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal postponed his hunger strike over full-statehood issue. Congress cancelled its CWC and the Opposition is worrying about unity of the nation. Modi-ji is getting down to strengthen polling booths and the BJP is busy with election rallies,” Singh had tweeted in Hindi on Wednesday.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 11:27 IST