PM Warns BJP MPs, Leaders Against Arrogant Behavior


NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday sternly told party members that arrogance and misbehaviour would not be tolerated by him, “whoever they may be”.

He was speaking at the BJP’s parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday (the first in this session), and while he did not name anyone specifically, the reference was said to be towards Indore MLA Akash Vijyvargiya, son of national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who had been arrested and released on bail last week after he assaulted a government official with a cricket bat. Mr. Vijayvargiya senior was present in the meeting when the Prime Minister made these remarks.

According to sources, he said that “whoever it may be, whoever’s son he may be… such arrogance, misbehaviour cannot be tolerated” and action should be taken against them. “Manmaani nahi chalegi, [wilful behaviour will not be tolerated].”

Speaking to reporters, BJP MP and spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy quoted Modi as saying that such conduct was “totally unacceptable.” Asked if Mr. Modi also suggested disciplinary action, he answered in affirmative. “He said if somebody behaves in such a way, then action should be taken against him. He made his feelings clear,” Mr. Rudy said.

Other sources said that the Prime Minister also pointed out that BJP leaders had toiled hard for generations to bring success to the party and such arrogance brought it a bad name.

The sources said Mr. Modi also made a reference to Akash Vijayvargiya’s brazen defence of his action with the boast “pahle nivedan, phir aavedan, phir danadan” [first request, then application, then attack], saying such a conduct was unacceptable. “If somebody commits a mistake, there should be a sense of regret as well,” he said.

Party sources said Mr. Modi also disapproved of the fanfare with which BJP leaders received Vijayvargiya junior after he was released from jail and suggested that the party would take action.

Modi, Shah felicitated

The parliamentary party group felicitated Mr. Modi for the resounding victory registered by the party in the recent Lok Sabha polls. Party chief Amit Shah and its working president J.P. Nadda were also felicitated, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters.

Mr. Modi would launch the BJP’s membership drive from Varanasi on July 6, during which at least five trees should be planted by party workers in every booth across the country, Mr. Joshi said. He dubbed the plantation exercise as “panchvati” which, according to the Ramayana, was the place where Lord Ram, Sita and Laxman had stayed in exile for 14 years.

In his address, Mr, Modi asked party MPs to ensure their presence in Parliament during the ongoing session and added that they should also dedicate themselves to people’s service so that they are known for what they have done for the masses, Mr Joshi said. Mr. Modi expressed his unhappiness at the poor attendance of party MPs when the triple talaq Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha.

When Mr. Modi launches the party membership drive in Varanasi, Mr Shah will be kicking it off in Telangana. Other party leaders would so in different parts of the country.

July 6 is the birth anniversary of BJP ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee.


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