In PM Modi’s message to BJP, the subtext: To find another gear, create soft power and goodwillPremium Story

The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:45 pm

In PM Modi’s message to BJP, the subtext: To find another gear, create soft power and goodwillPremium Story

BJP leaders have said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the concluding session of the party’s national executive meeting had a clear message — focus on creating a “soft power” and “goodwill” to expand the party and increase its tally in the 2024 general elections to take the BJP’s journey of electoral victories to the next level.In the address, which emphasised on reaching out to more of the marginalised, minorities and small communities, Modi urged the BJP cadre to embrace the fact that the BJP is the ruling party at the Centre and many key states, and “think beyond conventional politics and electoral politics”.“To me, Prime Minister Modi was saying that the BJP should adopt a new style of politics to create soft power and goodwill among all sections of the people. He wants the BJP to create a positive atmosphere. The goodwill and soft power should help increase the BJP’s tally in the next Lok Sabha elections,” said a senior BJP leader.Modi’s reference to the age group of 18-25 in his speech also indicated that the party would also focus on that age group — youths in that age group are keen on development and a corruption-free government, according to Modi — to turn it into a strong loyal BJP support base.Party sources said the prime minister’s speech had given a clear signal that both the government and the party would take several initiatives in the coming days to see that the BJP gets more seats in the Lok Sabha elections. “Every step in the coming days, including the Budget, would keep that in mind,” said a party MP.In his speech to the national executive, Modi asked party members to reach out to every section of society, including the marginalised and minority communities, “without electoral considerations”. He wants BJP workers to reach out to Pasmandas, Bohras, Muslim professionals, and educated Muslims as a confidence-building measure and without expecting votes in return.Modi, who had a notebook with points scribbled on it while speaking, reiterated his message of reaching out to marginalised groups among the minorities at the Hyderbad National Executive meeting too. He also spoke about the Sikh community that, according to him, has a positive feeling about the BJP. He pointed out that the Sikh community is present in many districts outside Punjab too and the BJP cadre “should not ignore them” thinking they are too small to make any electoral difference.Recalling what the PM spoke about, a BJP leader said, “He said don’t always think about votes only. He also mentioned the small groups of backward communities and said they always stood by the BJP since the Jana Sangh days. He said there are small communities like Bohras, among whom there are several educated Muslims. They do not vote for the BJP but cooperate with the party in many activities. The Prime Minister specifically said Muslims would not vote for the BJP, but that should not stop us from reaching out to them.”A party leader said, “The target is to increase the BJP’s tally from 303 and return to power with more glory. Because the positive atmosphere will create a favourable situation for us — to talk about development work and to expand our base.”Another significant point the Prime Minister harped on was India’s global positioning. According to Modi, the global situation post Covid has a “lot of prospects and chances” and India should let them pass by. Even the national executive statement on the G-20 presidency mentioned the changed world order in the last nine years. According to BJP vice president Baijayant Panda who briefed the media on the statement, the G-20 and, in general, the world is “full of admiration” as India not only dealt with the Covid crisis but also reached out with help to other countries.Panda said BJP workers, in their individual capacity, would work to connect society as the country hosts over 200 G20-related events in more than 50 places. He added it was an opportunity to connect the society and showcase India’s progress and its rich heritage as delegates from not only the elite bloc of 20 leading economies but also many multilateral bodies such as the International Monetary Fund would visit India.

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Votes cast for 5 MLC seats in Maharashtra after Congress rebellion row
Times of India | 1 day ago | 31-01-2023 | 07:09 am
Times of India
1 day ago | 31-01-2023 | 07:09 am

MUMBAI: Polling for five MLC seats for the teachers (Nagpur, Aurangabad and Konkan) and graduates (Nashik and Amravati) constituencies, marked by a controversy over the suspension of a father-son duo from the Congress for anti-party activities and utter confusion over selection of official nominees by political parties, took place on Monday.Though there are several candidates in the fray, it appears that there will be a straight contest between the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the BJP candidates. Counting will be held on February 2.The polling percentage in Nashik was 49.3; in Amravati it was 49.7, in Aurangabad 86, in Nagpur 86.2 and in Konkan it was 91 (figures rounded off).Such elections are barely controversial. But high drama was witnessed over the Nashik division graduates seat after Congress nominee Sudhir Tambe failed to submit his nomination form before the deadline and his son Satyajeet filed his instead as an independent canddiate.Sudhir Tambe is the brother-in-law of Congress legislature party leader and former revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat. The Congress high command had approved Sudhir Tambe's nomination, while he was keen on his son Satyajeet, a former state youth Congress president, getting nominated.According to former chief minister Ashok Chavan, the AICC had given Sudhir Tambe a blank authorization form so that either he or his son could file the nomination. On the last day of filing nominations, both the father and son reached the election office, but Satyajeet Tambe filed papers. MPCC president Nana Patole reacted sharply, alleging the Tambe family had ditched the Congress. According to reports, Satyajeet Tambe was vying for the BJP's support, but it did not take any decision.On the other hand, BJP activist Shubhangi Patil too was vying for the BJP's nomination, and when she failed to get it, she approached Uddhav Thackeray for the MVA's support. After several rounds of talks, the MVA alliance supported the candidature of Patil. As a result, Nashik will witness a straight between the BJP and the Congress rebel.Satyajeet' Tambe's presence in the fray is being viewed as a major embarrassment for Thorat. Patole claimed that the MVA nominees will win all five seats. "Teachers and graduates in these constituencies are with the MVA," he said. Leader of opposition Ajit Pawar and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had toured extensively to campaign for the MVA and BJP nominees respectively for these five council constituencies.

Votes cast for 5 MLC seats in Maharashtra after Congress rebellion row
Maharashtra Minister Compared To Jyotiba Phule, Months After Ink Attack
Ndtv | 1 day ago | 30-01-2023 | 03:13 pm
Ndtv
1 day ago | 30-01-2023 | 03:13 pm

The minister's comment had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on him. (File)Pune: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chitra Wagh has compared Maharashtra cabinet minister and her senior party colleague Chandrakant Patil with social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.Wagh, who heads the state BJP women's wing, made the comments on Sunday at a programme organised here by local party leader Hemant Rasne which was also attended by Patil."We can see Savitribai (wife of Phule and pioneer of women's education in Maharashtra in the 19th century) in households, but a search is on for a Jyotiba (Phule) like Chandrakant Patil and BJP leader Hemant Rasne," she said.Notably, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Patil, who is an MLA from Pune, had kicked up a row by commenting that B R Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule did not seek government grants for running educational institutions, but they “begged” people to gather funds for starting schools and colleges.The use of the word “begged” had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on Patil.Meanwhile, Wagh, who had filed a complaint against social media influencer Uorfi Javed for dressing "improperly" in public, said the latter should be praised as she has started wearing full clothes.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"I never had any problem with that woman or with any religion. I had a problem with abnormality but now I think we should praise her because she is seen in full clothes now. I have received multiple photographs of her and I can see she's wearing good clothes," Wagh said responding to a query from reporters.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayShah Rukh Khan's Signature Pose And A Pathaan-Special Dance

Maharashtra Minister Compared To Jyotiba Phule, Months After Ink Attack
What fuel prices? 2-wheeler sales touch pre-Covid levels in Pune
Times of India | 2 days ago | 30-01-2023 | 07:30 am
Times of India
2 days ago | 30-01-2023 | 07:30 am

PUNE: Registrations of new two-wheelers in Pune soared last year to reach pre-Covid levels of 2019, despite issues such as high fuel prices, rising insurance costs and impact on incomes due to the pandemic. An analysis revealed the number of registrations in 2022 was 58% more than the previous year and 68% more than 2020's figures.In fact, Pune registered the highest number of two-wheelers in Maharashtra in 2022 and accounted for nearly 16% of all new registrations in the state, officials from the RTO said."We thought the high fuel prices last year would have an impact on sales, but the numbers tell a different story," said one official.Fuel prices rose steadily between early 2021 and the middle of 2022. Now, a litre of petrol in Pune costs as much as Rs 105.91, compared to Rs 90 in January 2021. But there has been no impact on two-wheeler sales in the city, which many said only shows how weak the public transport infrastructure has become in the city. "Unlike Mumbai, Pune still has limited public transport options. So people here need their two-wheelers and have become extremely dependent on them," said deputy regional transport officer, Pune RTO, Sanjiv Bhor. Another RTO official said for thousands of daily commuters in Pune, a two-wheeler remains the most economical way to get around the city. "Cabs and autorickshaws are now just too expensive to use every day. As for the Metro, it's yet to link many parts of the city. Most buses are not on time either. So yes, public transport options are indeed few here," the official said, adding that the Covid pandemic, despite its impact on incomes, went on to trigger a surge in two-wheeler sales."Many started to avoid crowded public transport, like buses. So they went and bought themselves a bike or a scooter," the official said.Some families said they even borrowed money to buy two-wheelers. Kothrud resident Shameet Joshi said he bought two two-wheelers between 2021 and 2022. "Our salaries were hit during Covid. But commuting in Pune has become very difficult and expensive. So I bought a second-hand two-wheeler and my wife borrowed money from relatives to buy herself a new one. More than their fares, I would say trip refusals by autorickshaws and cabs is the real problem," Joshi said. Sales staff at showrooms said they're starting to see recovery."In 2019, we were selling an average of 1,000 two-wheelers every day. Last year, we sold 800-850," one salesman at a major showroom in the city said.Transport activists said at this rate, Pune's roads are only going to get more congested.Sanjay Shitole of the PMP Pravasi Manch said authorities should immediately improve the state of public transport in the city. "If buses are on time, people will use them more. It's that simple," he said.

What fuel prices? 2-wheeler sales touch pre-Covid levels in Pune
A Mumbai bureaucrat who refuses to be taken down
Times of India | 2 days ago | 30-01-2023 | 05:46 am
Times of India
2 days ago | 30-01-2023 | 05:46 am

BMC administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal is indeed a bold bureaucrat. When the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoned him to record his statement in a money laundering case over allotment of a contract for a Covid centre, his colleagues in the bureaucracy believed it would be the end of his career. Members of the fourth estate floated all types of reports anticipating his arrest under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act before CM Eknath Shinde left for Davos for the prestigious World Economic Forum meet and before Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the city for laying the foundation stone of projects worth Rs 50,000. It was believed that the CM would give him an insignificant assignment or send him on leave. However, neither was he shunted out nor sent on leave. In fact, all along various events, he was spotted along the CM and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Even after the ED recorded his statement, Chahal didn't escape the media. He came out of the ED office, addressed an impromptu press conference and replied to all questions raised by the media before leaving. A cabinet member said it was not a summons, and that the ED had called Chahal to secure more information on the Covid jumbo center contract awarded to a close aide of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. In the past too, Chahal was caught in a series of controversies over allotment of contracts for cement concrete roads and cost of his clothes and the watches he is wearing. On all occasions, Chahal was instant to take on his detractors in bureaucracy and politics. As of now, it appears that Chahal is firm in the saddle.An honour well deserved: For Pune collector Rajesh Deshmukh, it was a rare honour when President Draupadi Murmu felicitated him for his outstanding contribution to 'healthy and pure' electoral rolls in the district comprising four lakh sabhas, 21 assembly seats, and a total voter population of 80 lakh. Two years ago, the Election Commissioner of India had asked all state chief electoral officers to draft a comprehensive action plan for preparing a 'healthy and pure' electoral register by removing duplicate names and those of deceased persons. Soon after taking over the reins of Pune district, Deshmukh embarked on a one-point mission to purify the electoral register. He mobilized officials of two municipal corporations, 17 urban local bodies, 1,400 gram panchayats and 1,900 villages for the purpose. Deshmukh involved nearly 450 colleges in the district with an emphasis on registration of young voters, and measures were taken to end urban apathy, since in the past, the voting percentage was less than 35 per cent in certain Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies. It was the biggest exercise in the recent past, says Deshmukh. He expects better results, in terms of percentage of voting in the ensuing elections.

A Mumbai bureaucrat who refuses to be taken down