After the “chai pe charcha” campaign during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked his party MPs to hold “lunch pe charcha” to spread the good points of the Union Budget 2018-19 among the people.
The Prime Minister’s suggestion came at a BJP Parliamentary party meeting where party chief Amit Shah described Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s behaviour as “undemocratic” and suggested ways to counter his criticism of the Rafale fighter deal.
Sources present at the meeting said the Prime Minister described the Union budget as positive for the middle class and farmers and asked them to discuss its benefits among the masses.
Intervening in Shah’s speech, Modi described how he held discussions with party cadres in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi over lunch by bringing his own tiffin.
The sources said Modi asked the MPs to hold such ‘lunch pe charcha’ by bringing their own tiffin in every assembly segment of their constituency during the Budget Session break.
At the meeting, two booklets containing the Prime Minister’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos and Shah’s speech at various platforms were distributed among the MPs.
The booklet, with the title “Unbeatable Global Legend”, contains articles published in around 25 global newspapers about Modi’s speech at Davos. BJP sources said the booklet was prepared by party General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.
In his address, Shah attacked the Congress and its President for raising questions over the Rafale deal and creating pandemonium in the Lok Sabha during the Prime Minister’s reply to the debate on the President’s address.
“Rahulji’s style of politics is undemocratic. Hence there was such disruption in the Lok Sabha during the speech of the Prime Minister,” Ananth Kumar, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, quoted Shah as saying.
Elaborating Shah’s speech, Kumar said the President spoke about main points of the Rafale deal and justified every component of the agreement.
He asked the MPs to counter the opposition’s onslaught over the Rafale deal.
“This is Rahul culture in Congress. The Finance Minister has spoken in detail over the issue. Everything can’t be disclosed in view of national security and the country’s interest,” a source quoted Shah as saying.
According to sources, a party MP raised the issue of farmers linking it to the party’s defeat in the Rajasthan by-polls.
“Don’t look towards Rajasthan defeat. See towards the victory in 2019,” Shah told him and urged the members to go to the people with positive aspects of the budget for farmers and the middle class.
In 2017, Modi brought his own tiffin to lunch with BJP booth workers in Varanasi, where he addressed a rally and shared his experiences.