PM Modi meets BJP CMs in governance push

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged the chief ministers of 12 states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party to focus on development and last-mile delivery of welfare schemes, marking a major development push months before high-stakes state polls.

The meeting in Varanasi, also attended by the deputy chief ministers of at least three states and BJP chief JP Nadda, came a day after Modi inaugurated the 700 crore Kashi Vishwanath Corridor.

“Highlighting the importance of technology in governance, PM Modi called for governance to be data driven to ensure last mile delivery, speed and transparency,” said a press statement issued by the BJP.

“He (Modi) called upon every BJP-headed government to carve a niche for itself in some or the other sector of governance. He urged governments to accord topmost priority to ease of living,” the statement added.

The meeting was attended by the chief ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Both the deputy CMs in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and the deputy CM of Nagaland also participated in the event.

PM Modi and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath reached the Banaras Locomotive Works (BLW) auditorium for the meeting in the same vehicle from the Bareka guest house. Nadda welcomed the PM at the venue.

Modi asked all the CMs to apprise people of various welfare and development schemes implemented by the government. “In a democracy, people are everything. In such a situation, it is very important to take care of the interest of public. There should be no laxity in implementing developmental schemes,” said the PM, according to senior BJP leaders who requested anonymity.

The meeting came on the second day of the PM’s visit to his parliamentary constituency and hours after Modi and Adityanath conducted a surprise midnight inspection of several development projects, including the temple corridor and the city railway station.

“Inspecting key development works in Kashi. It is our endeavour to create best possible infrastructure for this sacred city,” tweeted Modi at 12:52am on Tuesday.

The BJP faces high-stakes elections in five states early next year, and is hoping to come back to power in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous and politically crucial state.

On Monday, Modi opened the mega redevelopment project comprising 24 buildings built over 550,000 square feet, which aims to rejuvenate the centuries-old Kashi Vishwanath temple complex.

In the meeting on Tuesday, the PM reaffirmed the principle of “minimum government, maximum governance” and urged the states to remove laws that had become archaic and reduce compliance burdens.

The PM told the chief ministers to ensure 100% implementation of development schemes in their respective states. “Full benefits of the schemes should go to the people. Work on it and ensure it,” he added, according to BJP leaders present at the meeting.

In his opening remarks, Nadda lauded Modi’s success in his two-decade-long stint, first as chief minister of Gujarat and then as PM. He also said that the BJP and good governance were synonymous.

Earlier in the day, the PM held a meeting with the office-bearers of the Varanasi unit of the BJP and asked party lawmakers to stay in touch with the people.

Modi told the BJP leaders to apprise people of welfare schemes of the state and central governments by organising street-corner meetings in villages, towns, localities and colonies.

“During the meetings, do talk about the government’s vision of Sabka Saath-Sabka Vikas (inclusive development for all),” he said.

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