Stop touching my feet
PM Narendra Modi on Friday advised BJP MPs to remain humble and visit their constituencies regularly – and not touch his feet. Party sources said Modi, who spoke to the Bharatiya Janata Party MPs on Friday, asked them to remain connected to the grassroots and spread the message of the government. He urged them not to touch his feet, eschew any sycophancy and work hard.
He also asked them to speak on a subject only after reading about it. Sources said he told them to avoid controversies in the media and speak on an issue only after ascertaining the party line. Party sources said Modi asked them not to let complacency set in. The sources said he told the MPs that they had greater responsibility as people had given the BJP a mandate to be in power.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Vekaiah Naidu said that Modi asked the party MPs to be humble. “The PM has asked the BJP MPs to be humble, and he has also instructed them to visit their constituencies more often and be regular in (attending) parliament,” he said.
The mood was upbeat, as there were several fresh faces in the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting, who were new to the functioning of the parliamentary system. There was excitement and expectation in the air. Besides Modi, BJP Patriarch L K Advani, BJP president Rajnath Singh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sat on the dais. Sushma Swaraj, who, as Leader of Opposition in the previous Lok Sabha, and former BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who used to be on the dais, were seated in the front row, along with another former BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi.
Modi told the MPs that by continuously attending the House proceedings, the MPs get to learn about several issues. Senior MPs will always be there to guide them, he said. At the same time, Modi asked the MPs to be in touch with their constituencies and to raise their issues and address the same. He asked the MPs of the election-going States like Maharashtra and Haryana, to pay greater attention to the local issues. The Prime Minister advised the MPs to be humble in the light of the massive mandate given by the people to the party. He asked them to avoid speaking on national issues with the media and told them to be polite in the dealing with mediapersons.
Advani and Rajnath Singh both advised the new MPs to actively take part in the debates and to raise constituency issues. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu briefed the new MPs on the rules and regulations governing the functioning of Parliament and issues relating to accommodation and other facilities available to the new MPs.