Prime Minister Narendra Modi today issued a set of guidelines to the BJP MPs, asking them to do research on issues, have good conduct in Parliament, not to talk to media like "spokespersons" and avoid sychophancy like touching his feet.
Addressing a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party here, he made it clear to the MPs that they should not let complacency eclipse the party's performance which catapulted it to power.
He underscored the fact that BJP is no longer in the opposition and its MPs have a far bigger responsibility in taking the message of the government to the grassroots level and highlight its programmes.
"Achha adhyayan, acharan aur sahaj sampark" (good research, conduct and contact)" was Modi's message to his party colleagues in his 20-minute speech in the Central Hall of Parliament.
The Prime Minister asked them to attend the sessions of Parliament full-time and come prepared after thorough research on issues and maintain dignity in the "temple of democracy".
He also urged them to come armed with knowledge and do their homework properly before participating in Parliament debates. He said being present during debates will be a good learning ground for them on various issues.
Sources said the Prime Minister also asked the MPs not to talk to the media as spokespersons of the party but raise the issues of their own area and constituency with them instead.
He asked party MPs to do good work for the common people as they all have to be elected again in 2019. He said he himself, being a first-time MP, has to learn a lot from Parliament and so should the other new MPs do.
The Prime Minister asked them to be punctual in attending Parliament and help in the smooth running of the House.
Sounding a word of caution, Modi asked them to remain connected to the ground and not let any complacency eclipse the party's performance which catapulted it to power.
Modi said as BJP was no longer in the opposition, its MPs had a far bigger responsibility in taking the message of the government to the grassroots level and highlight its programmes.
In his speech, Modi exhorted the MPs to remain in touch with the people at the grassroots and not lower their guard.
Modi also lauded the elevation of Sumitra Mahajan as the Speaker of Lok Sabha, saying she is the first woman in the BJP to reach that level.
BJP patriarch L K Advani, in his address, also asked BJP MPs to continue to work for the welfare of the common people and consolidate on the gains as the party had come a long way from mere two MPs to the 282-member strong force with a majority of its own in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
BJP President and Home Minister Rajnath Singh also welcomed the new party MPs and asked them to work hard for further success of the party and uplift of common people.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu later told reporters that the Prime Minister has "guided" the members of Parliament.
"He (Modi) advised them about the need for attendance and attention in the House. He also advised the members to make proper study, come prepared to the House and follow the guidelines given by the party whips from time to time," Naidu added.
Modi should understand Indian tradition: ask godly forgiveness first before engaging in corruption.
There are many examples - Tirupati, Ajmer, etc etc.
Excellent idea. Touching anyone's feet in a work environment is an abomination. Respect for elders etc. is all very good but not in places of work. Also agree with all of you that the idea of garlanding politicians is over done and a waste of funds and should be done away with.
WIAN: "Don't know what's the best approach."
Actually Modi himself has shown the best approach by example. In recent times, he has repeatedly touched the feet of Advani.
And yet 12 years back, he did not do it. And the reason is because Advani was powerful back then. And if he had touched his feet then, it would have screamed sycophancy.
Today Advani is in no position to harm Modi and hence Modi's gesture is a mark of respect.
I'm slightly iffy on this.
While touching feet (or carrying bags as also he is said to have mentioned) might be a sign of sycophancy, it is also a sign of respect, and is part of our culture. Usually, it is done to elders (in age, not in hierarchy).
Of course, older people (sometimes senior citizens), touching the feet of "young" leaders is disgusting to watch. The reverse is not always that case.
I do agree though, that it's a gray area. What one preceives as respect, other might view as sycophancy. Don't know what's the best approach.
Akash: Other parties are not targetted as much as BJP is by the hidden camera trick. Hence BJP is more frequent victim. Although, it would not be practical, but governing all the time as if hidden camera is watching could be best (at least most transparent) governance. In this day and age that may not be practical (or even desirable).
Ramchandra: I agree with you. I wish Modi reverses the wasteful trend of worshiping VIPs with obsenely oversized garlands.