PM to Meet CMs of Saffron States

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Simran Bajaj

New Delhi, Feb 27 (with inputs from the Hindu): Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah will participate in a day-long meeting with the Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled States here on Wednesday to discuss issues that would be in question of simultaneous polls.

The meeting with the CMs, the third in a series, after August 25 and September 21 last year, is an attempt to get all BJP-ruled States on the same page with regard to policies and programmes, according to a party official.

“Earlier, the BJP governed six States. Now that we are in power in 13 States and and are in the ruling alliance in five more, it is imperative that we follow certain governing principles in our policy framework,” said a senior office-bearer of the party. “Issues related to governance will be discussed, and in that context, the issue of simultaneous polls will also be discussed,” the source said.

Another major issue to be discussed is agrarian reforms, especially in the wake of the hike in the minimum support price announced in the Union Budget.

Responding to a question on why several BJP-run States were offering farm loan write-offs and whether this was now a part of the BJP’s governance playbook, the office-bearer replied that it was not a permanent arrangement.

“The agricultural sector in India suffers from several deep-rooted problems and requires fresh initiatives which the government is taking both on the supply side and inputs. During the U.P. polls, when the BJP for the first time offered a waiver on farm loans, it was found that despite a good track record with irrigation, the farmers were in distress in the State, it was a temporary relief measure that was offered in the form of a waiver,” he said.

“The Centre and the party have been clear that the States that have offered a waiver have to do it under their own steam,” the source added.

“Earlier, the BJP governed six States. Now that we are in power in 13 States and and are in the ruling alliance in five more, it is imperative that we follow certain governing principles in our policy framework,” said a senior office-bearer of the party. “Issues related to governance will be discussed, and in that context, the issue of simultaneous polls will also be discussed,” the source said.