IN THE first 20 days since he took over as president of the Delhi BJP unit, Manoj Tiwari has addressed one meeting a day with traders — considered the BJP’s strongest electorate, and hit hard by the demonetisation.
Tuesday marked the twentieth such meeting and Tiwari addressed traders in Kashmere Gate about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “historic decision”. “I have not come to you on my own. I have been sent by the Prime Minister,” he said.
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Lauding the positive effects of demonetisation in the “long run”, Tiwari assured traders that the BJP would continue to champion their causes.
“We are considering amendments to laws related to bounced cheques. This has been a long standing issue for the trader community… Tax slabs will go down for good. Some will come in February and some, later,” Tiwari said.
Sources in the BJP said 10 of Tiwari’s meetings involved large gatherings in the city’s business hubs and the remaining were smaller meetings with local politicians, meat exporters and small businessmen.
Traders have not been shy of voicing discontent at the meetings. “We told him that it creates an environment of distrust. The circulars are changing every other day. How are we supposed to go cashless?” said Suresh Bindal, former president of Indian Mercantile Association.
At the meeting with the Automotive and General traders Welfare Association at Kashmere Gate on Tuesday, Tiwari said the PM was aware of the problems. “People are inconvenienced and the PM knows this. But this will last only for 50 days. The PM has seen it through his childhood. His mother used to wash utensils in other people’s homes. I have come to you to put your faith in the PM,” said Tiwari.
He has also used the meetings to hit out at the AAP, against whom the BJP will contest the MCD polls early next year. “They are bent on causing chaos. The Delhi CM has been spreading rumours that political parties have got exemption. This is false. The PM did not take action thinking how it would impact Congress, AAP, Mayawati, Mulayam or Manoj Tiwari. Even BJP leaders would be brought to book,” he said.