Modi's reach-out for Independence Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet colleagues will travel across India for the 70th anniversary of India's independence as part of his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) campaign to reach out to people and publicise government schemes.

Kicking off the two-week campaign today, Mr Modi will visit Bhabhra, the birthplace of Indian freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad, and address a rally where he is expected to list the government's achievements.

The campaign will also see 75 federal government ministers visiting 150 important landmarks in India's fight to gain independence from the British.

India celebrates Independence Day on Aug 15.

"Aug 15 is one of the most important dates in this country. It is the best time to reach out to people on the government's many schemes and also get feedback on the people's concerns," BJP leader G.V.L. Narasimha Rao told The Straits Times.

"The Prime Minister believes very firmly that politics today cannot be an election time activity where you simply go and seek votes, and then forget about it the rest of the time," he added.

BJP leaders said the campaign was also aimed at fostering national unity. The party is drawing up a list of unsung heroes of the independence era.

The party also told its legislative assembly members and Members of Parliament to go out on motorcycles on Aug 15 while holding the national flag to "foster a sense of patriotism".

Nirmala Ganapathy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2016, with the headline 'Modi's reach-out for Independence Day'. Print Edition | Subscribe