The government cares for the poor. At least, that’s what BJP has been trying to convey through its slew of initiatives within months of holding the reins of governance. A party that came to the helm of power on the pro-poor plank is leaving no stone unturned to stay true to its commitment. After its pro-farmer image took a beating during the Land Acquisition Bill controversy, it has come up with a new experiment. And this time, it is conducting a workshop.
Titled ‘Garib Kalyan Yojnaye’ (Poverty Alleviation Schemes), this pay-and-attend workshop on 19 April is organised in association with Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, a think tank having links to RSS.
Objective of the Workshop
The workshop will revisit the government’s pro-poor welfare programmes and ideate ways to effectively implement them and maximise their outreach. While senior ministers would address the MPs and try to create a road map for the latter to take these initiatives to the grassroots level, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu is expected to give MPs a brief rundown on poor welfare schemes.
According to party functionaries, this day-long workshop should be seen as an effort to “motivate and appraise” the MPs for effective implementation of government-run schemes for the poor. To be hosted a day ahead of the second half of the budget session that begins on 20 April, the timing of workshop indicates that the NDA government is sceptical about the prospects of the land acquisition ordinance, which will come up for ratification during this session.
What to Expect From the Workshop?
The workshop will cover a host of schemes conceived by the BJP government. There will be dedicated sessions on rural and urban development schemes. Besides, the Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari will deliver a presentation on Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojna. Health Minister J. P. Nadda would explain MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) to the MPs. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will focus on a macro level and sensitise MPs on the bigger development agenda. Modi will set the stage for the workshop with an inaugural speech and the party president, Amit Shah will conclude the session.
If this workshop happens to be a success, BJP will host similar events for personal assistants of MPs.
Is Workshop a Way to Rebut Congress’ Vilification Campaign?
At a time when the Congress is acting as a perfect iconoclast by running a kind of ‘Expose BJP’ campaign, the ruling party has come to realise that the success of the schemes is linked to the involvement of local public representatives or the MPs. They must be well aware of the development schemes so that they can convince people to cooperate with the government in its mission.
The workshop is increasingly being looked upon as a response to Congress’ mega rally on the same day. The party vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, is set to address the attendees at the national farmers’ rally in Ramlila Maidan on Sunday. The opposition party would like to leverage this platform to mount attack and label the government as pro-rich.