Amit Shah will ensure attendance in Parliament, PM Modi warns BJP MPs
BJP President Amit Shah arrives at the Parliament House in New Delhi on August 10. Photograph: (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today (August 10) praised BJP president Amit Shah for his "successful" three years at the helm of the party, during which he worked like a "common worker" to strengthen its base, sources in the party said.
The prime minister's compliment for Shah came at a BJP parliamentary party meeting, in which he again made his displeasure known at members skipping parliamentary proceedings, at times despite a whip. Modi also noted that the members had been cautioned against it on many occasions.
Referring to Shah's debut in the Rajya Sabha, Modi, in a lighter vein, said the BJP chief's presence in Parliament might ensure the attendance of the other members, the sources said.
Those present at the meeting congratulated Shah for his election to the Upper House from Gujarat and on completing three years as the BJP chief, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.
He added that the prime minister praised Shah's strategy and tireless efforts, "like a common worker", to expand the footprints of the party in the country.
Modi said it was difficult to run the affairs of a ruling party as the government often faced a lot of questions.
Expanding the organisation in this backdrop was a challenge and Shah lived up to it "very skillfully", the prime minister said.
Shah referred to the recent victory of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, following a close contest for the third Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat against the BJP nominee.
He said the opposition party was in such a "poor shape" that it managed to win the seat by a margin of less than one vote due to desertion by its members.
According to the sources, he also indicated that the outcome of the election might be challenged in court.
The BJP has questioned the Election Commission's (EC) decision to annul two votes cast by rebel Congress members in favour of the saffron party's candidate.
Modi also asked the lawmakers and BJP office-bearers to actively undertake the "Sankalp se Siddhi" (from pledge to execution) programme, which envisioned a "new India" by 2022, the 75th anniversary of the country's independence.
He also told the MPs to ask the schools in their constituencies to conduct quiz contests in this regard.