New Delhi: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning a massive 15-day outreach programme starting 26 May to mark the government’s three years.
While the NDA will use the opportunity to reiterate its policy successes and its vision for the next two years, the opposition Congress, which has already fielded its young brass to take on the government, is likely to highlight the NDA’s failures through a nationwide media campaign.
To kick start the celebrations, Modi is expected to hold a public meeting in Guwahati on 26 May, which also marks a year of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Assam. It is for the first time that BJP is in power in Assam on its own. BJP chief Amit Shah is also expected to hold a press conference in Delhi on 26 May to talk about the various programmes of the government.
“The idea is to hold district level functions in all the districts, especially in BJP-ruled states so that people are aware of the good governance work of the national and state government. Chief ministers of BJP-ruled states have been asked to hold public meetings and events in their states and also to visit at least one more state to showcase the work of the government,” said a senior BJP leader who is involved in planning the events.
Interestingly, the BJP is also planning to hold ‘Modi melas’ (Modi fairs) in states. Senior leaders said that people who have benefitted because of government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana which gives subsidized cooking gas to financially weaker sections, Stand-Up India scheme which gives loans to financially weaker sections, especially Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and women entrepreneurs, and Jan Dhan Yojana would be invited for these events.
“Instead of the government talking about what it has done for the people in three years, it is a way in which people are being asked to talk about their experiences. People are the brand ambassadors of government schemes and we want beneficiaries to talk about the government schemes,” the BJP leader added.
The Union government has also asked all the ministers to visit their constituencies and all the members of Parliament (MPs) have been asked to visit their constituencies and hold public meetings and awareness programmes about the three years of NDA in power. “All the ministers, MPs and members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) have been asked to visit their constituencies and inform the people about the government. Ministers have been asked to visit at least one more state apart from their home state,” the BJP leader added.
The Congress party on the other hand has already launched a media blitzkrieg by fielding its young faces at a press conference on 16 May, which marked three years of NDA’s historic general election win. The party’s young leaders attacked the Union government’s failure on key policy issues as well and announced a two-year nationwide public campaign to ‘expose’ the BJP.
“On 26 May, we will hold at least 20 press conferences across as many cities, particularly state capitals and Delhi. This will be led by our senior leaders and the idea is to flag issues where the government has failed not just in the national capital but also in the states,” a senior party leader involved in media strategizing said, requesting anonymity.
Congress’ media campaign to attack the ruling BJP however does not end on 26 May and will instead continue till 17 June. The party’s media strategy includes a series of press conferences—at least 100—across the country on several issues particularly agriculture, internal security, women, youth and weaker sections.
Its focus of attack will be agriculture and farm-related issues. Beginning on Saturday until 24 May, senior Congress leaders and former Union ministers will address 15 press conferences in different state capitals to highlight what it calls the government’s failures on agriculture, farmers and farm labourers.
The Congress has also released a video, ‘3 years, 30 tricks’, which attacks the NDA for its failures on 30 different issues. Senior party leaders said it is going to be used widely by the party in its media and public campaigns to mark the three years of the government.