New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to shift focus from the country’s ongoing financial crisis to an ‘economic turnaround’ undertaken under Prime Minister Narendra Modi 2.0, with senior leaders, chief ministers and state units being asked to hold press conferences to disseminate the message among the public.
According to a senior BJP leader, party president and Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah has asked workers to spread more information about work done by the government to improve the current economic situation.
“This was conveyed to the state units during Shah’s meeting with all MPs through video-conferencing Saturday,” said the senior BJP leader.
With assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana around the corner (on 21 October), the Opposition, especially the Congress, has been cornering the BJP over the current economic downturn. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh will lead a nationwide campaign from 15-25 October against the economic crisis.
Press conferences, op-eds
At a press conference Monday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis thanked PM Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for slashing corporate tax. The press meeting, which was held at the BJP office in Mumbai, was attended by leaders such as Bhupendra Yadav and party’s state chief Chandrakant Dada Patil, among others.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani too held a press conference at the BJP office in Gandhinagar Tuesday and said the RBI’s decision to cut repo rate is meant to aid liquidity and ensure better lending.
A number of state units are also holding meetings and press meets locally.
Apart from holding press conferences, senior BJP leaders and spokespersons have also been asked to write opinion pieces, or op-eds, in media publications on the government’s achievements.
“It is not only chief ministers but MPs have also been asked to hold press conferences and discuss the positive impact that the government’s recent move has had on the economy. At the same time, all state and district level leaders who have connections with the media have been asked to explain the work that has taken place under the Modi government in the past 100 days,” said a senior BJP leader.
Rollbacks and booster doses
The BJP’s move comes at a time when the Modi government’s management of the economy has invited sharp criticism from several quarters. The economy had slowed down to 5 per cent in the June quarter — the slowest in six years — from 5.8 per cent in the January-March quarter.
This slowdown had forced the government to roll back many of its measures, including doing away with the provision of arrest for failure to meet Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) norms as well as the super rich surcharge on foreign investors that adversely impacted lenders’ sentiments.
In a booster dose to spur investment and growth, Finance Minister Sitharaman had announced a massive reduction in corporate tax rates last week. Prior to that, the finance ministry had also announced many sectoral measures to strengthen the economy, including in the automobile industry, housing and exports.