At the post-Budget BJP parliamentary board meet, Jaitley and Piyush Goyal talked up Davos as an example of Modi’s stature in the world.
New Delhi: The BJP’s first parliamentary board meeting of the session took place Thursday evening. And while the Union Budget presented earlier in the day was unsurprisingly a major part of the discussion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting also created a lot of buzz, thanks to finance minister Arun Jaitley and railway minister Piyush Goyal.
Modi’s speech on 23 January in Davos highlighted data as the new global currency.
Both ministers spoke about the PM’s visit, talking up his stature in the international community because he addressed the opening plenary at the event, with Goyal spicing it up by saying there was pressure even from US President Donald Trump wanting to speak before or just after Modi.
Sources who attended the meeting said Jaitley spoke about the PM’s speech at length, and gave details of the accolades it received from foreign dignitaries. The FM also spoke about India taking the lead internationally in raising issues of terrorism, corruption, black money and the environment.
“Jaitley spoke about how PM recalled that 5,000 years ago, India was a great country and a ‘vishwa-guru’. He said the speech won the hearts of the people present at the event,” said the source.
Goyal, meanwhile, reportedly claimed that the US wanted to grab the inaugural spot from India. “Goyal said there was pressure from Donald Trump — he wanted to deliver either the inaugural address or be the second speaker after PM Modi. But he (Trump) was among the last ones to speak in Davos,” the source added.
The PM himself was quite upbeat about Davos as well, but those present at the meeting said he was more focussed on the crucial upcoming test he needs to pass – next year’s general elections.
In his own address to party MPs, PM Modi broke down the budget in simple numbers. The MPs were asked to take the budget to the farmers and the poor of the country, and to explain it to them in layman’s terms. “Budget is the government’s line of thought, which each one of you needs to take to the people,” the PM told the MPs, sources said.