11:24 am - Monday December 11, 2017

Narendra Modi’s tips at MPs’ dinner: target Congress, don’t spare its allies

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Narendra Modi speaks at a Vijay Shankhnad rally in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
Narendra Modi speaks at a Vijay Shankhnad rally in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh

New Delhi –  Narendra Modi’s dinner party for all BJP members of Parliament on Tuesday was more realpolitik and less rhetoric as the party’s prime ministerial candidate discussed hard strategy before the legislators hit their constituencies to begin campaigning for the general elections.

Mr Modi handed out practical tips, telling party MPs that while the rival Congress would attempt to do battle seat by seat in the Lok Sabha elections due by May, the BJP must make it a fight on the national level.

He has been touring the country extensively for his election campaign and emphasised that the BJP has to take on not just the Congress, but also its allies in many states, and so must sharpen its attack on those parties too.

The candidates that the party picks must have “credibility and the ability to win,” Mr Modi told his guests, who included party president Rajnath Singh and top leaders like LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj, all of them Lok Sabha MPs.

Mr Modi, who makes extensive use of social media, cautioned that while such tools are important in electioneering, polls are won by the work done on the ground. He asked the MPs to scale the party’s new mega outreach programmes “one note, one vote” and the “chai pe charcha” campaign that he launches today.

Parliament is meeting for its last session before the general elections due by May. Party MPs are expected to go back to their constituencies and dive deep into election campaigning immediately after the session ends on February 20.

Most recent poll surveys have predicted a definite advantage for the Modi-led BJP in the forthcoming elections. At an election rally earlier on Tuesday, Mr Modi noted that the countdown to the national elections has begun with about 100 days to go.

The dinner party was held at the BJP’s headquarters in Delhi. The party has 117 Lok Sabha MPs and 47 members in the Rajya Sabha.

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