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Modi gives Gandhi padyatra advice to MPs, silence on Pragya continues

Modi told party MPs about the significance of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and asked them to lead padyatras

  • Published 10.07.19, 7:42 AM
  • Updated 10.07.19, 7:42 AM
  • a min read
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Picture by Prem Singh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked BJP parliamentarians to undertake padyatras in October to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and spread his teachings and the vision of the government.

Modi told party MPs about the significance of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and asked them to lead padyatras in their respective constituencies from October 2 (Gandhi’s birth anniversary) to October 31 (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary). He asked the MPs to walk around 15km a day with the target of covering 150km by October 31.

“These yatras will focus on the revival of villages and making them self-reliant, the plantation drive and zero-budget farming,” parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said. Local BJP MLAs and other leaders will also take part in the padyatras, according to Joshi.

At the meeting, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke about the budget and termed it “visionary”. Party MPs were asked to tell people about the proposals in the budget and the vision of the government to improve the lives of all sections.

Modi gave the instructions while addressing MPs at a weekly closed-door parliamentary party meeting on the Parliament premises. At last week’s meeting, the Prime Minister had condemned the conduct of Indore MLA Akash Vijayvargiya, son of BJP veteran Kailash Vijayvargiya, who had assaulted a civic official with a cricket bat. Modi had said the party could do without such an MLA. Party sources later said a show-cause notice had been issued to him, but there has been no word since.

Although Modi wanted the BJP to propagate Gandhi’s vision, no action had been taken against MP Pragya Singh Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse, the assassin of the Father of the Nation, a patriot. Modi had said he would never be able to forgive Pragya, who was then the BJP candidate for the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, and promised action against her.

BJP sources said Pragya, now an MP, had been served a showcause notice and the matter was put to rest after she apologised.