Pitching for electoral reforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said time had come to hold a wide consultations to see how the system can be improved in the context of role of money and holding of simultaneous polls.
He made these suggestions in his valedictory address to the party’s National Council here after kicking off year-long celebrations of BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay’s birth anniversary, which will be observed by the central government as well as the saffron party.
“Time has come for a wide discussion on electoral reforms. There is a need to discuss reforms in the electoral system. What are the shortcomings in the electoral system, what is the role of money, the use of government machinery… How many kinds of burden the country faces due to various polls. People of many political parties tell me that something should be done about electoral reforms,” Modi said.
He said these issues could be debated in the centenary birth year of Upadhyay.
He asked the party delegates, close to 1700 in numbers, to organise seminars in the Upadhyay’s centenary birth year over the issue, saying “let there be churning and nectar come out”.
The reforms should not be guided by fixed ideas, he said, adding it would not be good if they are carried on the basis of only Prime Minister’s suggestions. “It should not happen.”
Time has come to see to it what good can be added to the electoral system and what can be removed from it.
“We have to think how the rights of the common man can be strengthened and roots of democracy strengthened. If we can do it then it will go a long way in making democracy healthy,” the Prime Minister said.
In the past, Modi has spoken in favour of holding the Lok Sabha and state assembly polls simultaneously as continuous cycle of elections hamper government’s work.
Underlining that nobody is a “pariah”, Modi said the whole society should feel pain if one person is hurt like a human whole body feels pain if any part is injured.
“This is the direction of our politics. Nobody can be an outsider for us,” the Prime Minister said.
He said his government’s efforts in developing the eastern part of country was driven by the party ideologue’s concept of integral humanism because if the western India develops and the eastern India lags, then “Mother India can never be healthy”.
He stuck to his themes of development and uplift of the poor and marginalised sections, saying his government had been committed to “sabka saath sabka vikas” (With everybody, development for everybody) and that the man at the bottom of society should be at the centre of developmental schemes.
“The only solution to the country’s problems is development. If the gulf in the society has to be bridged, then those in the bottom can only be helped by development,” he said.
He also asked party leaders to set an example through their good their conduct as he lamented that the image of politicians has deteriorated in the eyes of the common man so much since independence that sons often do not disclose their father is in politics. “If you can do that, it will be an apt tribute to Upadhyay, he said.
“Though there are good people in all parties, their number is more in BJP due to its commitment to ideology,” he said and asked them to launch programmes to convert its 11 crore members into cadres.
He recalled that a former Prime Minister had once said in an interview that occupying the post was like scaling Mount Everest where one does not go to stay. “We are not like that,” Modi said.