Amid criticism over economic slowdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Though officials did not say what was discussed in the meeting, it came ahead of Modi’s proposed visit to poll-bound Gujarat on October 7 and 8. The meeting comes a day after Modi had defended his government’s economic decisions amid opposition onslaught over slow economic growth.
Strongly defending his government’s handling of the economy, Modi had said that a “handful of people” were trying to spread a wave of pessimism and despair based on the slowdown experienced during just a quarter. The government, he said, was committed to reversing the setback to growth in the April-June quarter and that structural reforms undertaken during the last three years, including demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax, and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, would help the country step up into the next league.
Shah, who was scheduled to address a rally in the home town of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, cut short his programme to rush to Delhi for the meeting. BJP Kerala president Kummanam Rajasekharan told reporters that Shah would be unable to attend the phase of the ‘Janaraksha Yatra’ (People’s Protection March) as he has to attend a meeting with the prime minister in the national capital.
Earlier in the day, Modi voiced concern over the growing problem of alcoholism among the younger generation and said society will be “ruined” in the next 25 years if the menace was not checked.