Prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday impressed his partymen by getting closer to them after instructing the Special Protection Group (SPG) to step aside and let him meet them freely. Modi encouraged BJP leaders to work for the party's victory in the October 2014 assembly elections.
Modi told them that people want a stable government and partymen should work towards achieving this goal. "He asked us to reach out to each and every voter and work hard to ensure victory. He said even if a seat belongs to an alliance partner, we must work hard to win it," said a BJP leader who met the prime minister on Monday.
"Modiji asked the SPG officers to step aside and let him meet us personally. No prime minister has ever done so. He wanted to listen to us. Rather than giving a long speech, he insisted on listening to us. He heard most of us," said Vinod Tawde, leader of opposition in the legislative council.
After attending a programme at BARC, the prime minister stopped over at Hotel Grand Hyatt in the western suburbs to meet BJP leaders before taking a flight to Delhi.
Modi made his maiden visit to Mumbai on Monday after becoming the prime minister. He was received at the airport by governor K Sankaranarayanan, state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis; Vinod Tawde, general secretary (organisation) Ravindra Bhusari, Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar and senior government officials.
After landing in the city, Modi went straight to BARC in Trombay. The media was not invited for the programme. It is learnt that Modi interacted with senior scientists, who briefed the prime minister about various facilities at the centre, which has been declared as a nuclear weapon establishment.
After the BARC programme, Modi met BJP leaders for an hour in view of the impending state polls.
Senior BJP leader and corporator Dilip Patel raised Mumbai-centric issues. "I took up issues like coastal road, urgent traffic solutions, water scarcity, drawing water from Daman Ganga-Pinjal and housing projects for 60% of slum-dwellers," said Patel.