NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to counter critics of the government’s economic policies and address worries over jobs and a slowdown in economic growth when he speaks at a meeting of the BJP’s national executive at Delhi’s Talkatora stadium this evening. About 2,500 members of the ruling party, including 13 Chief Ministers and all its elected lawmakers – 1,400 legislators and 280 parliamentarians – are attending today’s meet, Day 2 of the national executive.
1.The BJP’s national executive is usually a closed-door meeting attended by about 120 top leaders. Today’s meeting, however, is being called an “extended” National Executive as the party wraps up year-long celebrations to mark the birth anniversary of its founder Deendayal Upadhyaya. It is also for the first time that the BJP’s legislators and lawmakers have been invited for the meet.
2.The meeting is being chaired by BJP chief Amit Shah, who met office-bearers, state chiefs and key organisational leaders on Sunday to finalise today’s agenda, including the resolutions that will be passed by the party. He will make the opening remarks this morning.
3.PM Modi, who will attend the entire day-long event, is expected to highlight his government’s pro-poor measures and other policy decisions. The Prime Minister is also expected to take on the opposition, which has blamed last year’s demonetisation and the implementation of the Good and Services Tax (GST) for the economic slowdown.
4.PM Modi, said sources, will highlight his government’s success in boosting transparency and curbing black money, and a party resolution on the economy is expected to hail demonetisation and GST as revolutionary measures taken in national interest and will assert that the economy has been doing better under the BJP-led NDA than it did under the previous Congress-led UPA government.
5.The Prime Minister’s agenda of development will be a key feature. The PM’s address is also expected to provide broad guidelines on how the party can revitalise its connect with the people.
6.A political resolution will be adopted with a road map for crucial state elections ahead and then the 2019 national election, party sources said. Strategy for elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh later this year is expected to be discussed.
7.Sources said the party decided to open its convention to the media after the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological parent, alerted it about signs of a shift in public mood over the government’s performance.
8.Even some of the Sangh’s economic fronts have announced a protest in November to flag the BJP-led government’s failures.
9.”The BJP has completed 3.5 years. It was felt important to reflect upon what all has been achieved and what more needs to be done. Some policies have worked, some will show returns later but the mood of the nation and the party should remain upbeat,” said the BJP’s Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari, who is organising today’s event.
10.A cultural programme will wrap up the evening. “I will host the evening. Deendayal was very fond of songs which evoke nationalism, so as a tribute, regional songs from different states will be performed with a common theme – India,” said, Mr Tiwari, who is a popular Bhojpuri actor-singer turned politician.