On PM’s Orders, BJP Assigns Each Rajya Sabha MP A Constituency Lost In 2014

Senators voted 61-20 to convict the country’s first female president for illegally using money from state banks to bankroll public spending, marking the end of 13 years of leftist Workers Party rule.

Rousseff’s opponents hailed her removal as paving the way for a change of fortunes for Brazil. Her conservative successor, Michel Temer, the former vice president who has run Brazil since her suspension in May, inherits a bitterly divided nation with voters in no mood for the austerity measures needed to heal public finances.

In his first televised address to the nation after being sworn in as president through 2018, Temer called on Brazilians to unite behind him in working to rescue the economy from a fiscal crisis and over 11 percent unemployment.

“This moment is one of hope and recovery of confidence in Brazil. Uncertainty has ended,” Temer said in the speech broadcast after his departure for a G20 summit in China.

Until just a few years ago, Brazil was booming economically and its status was rising on the global stage.

The country then slid into its deepest recession in decades, and a graft scandal at state oil company Petrobras tarnished Rousseff’s coalition. Millions took to the streets this year to demand her removal, less than two years after she was re-elected.

A string of corruption scandals, led by the Petrobras scheme, has engulfed vast swaths of Brazil’s political class and business elites over the past 2-1/2 years.

New Delhi:  The BJP’s 52 lawmakers in the Rajya Sabha or House of Elders don’t have constituencies to nurture, but BJP Chief Amit Shah has just found them some.

In another idea straight out of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi handbook for MPs, Mr Shah has told the Elders that they can no more stay away from the sweat and grime of electoral politics that their colleagues in the Lok Sabha go through to win their seats.

So they too will “work in a constituency” – they will each adopt one constituency that the party lost in 2014, and work to win it in 2019. This includes the 12 BJP members of Rajya Sabha who are ministers, they were informed at a special meeting addressed by the party president.

They will be expected to bolster the efforts of the local BJP candidate and take on the winner from a rival party who won the seat and their performance will be assessed – the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be considered when they are up for re-nomination to the Rajya Sabha.

“The party president said each member should take up one constituency lost in 2014 and work for the party organisation. They will handle the twin task of expanding the party base and its ideology,” said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.

The lawmakers can spend the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme or MPLADs funds allotted to them in the constituency they adopt. The BJP believes this will optimise use of both human resource and the MP funds.

Lawmakers from both houses get 5 crores as MPLAD funds. While Lok Sabha members are expected to spend this money to develop their parliamentary constituencies, Rajya Sabha members represent entire states and so allocate funds to institutions and other work in those states.

“The whole exercise is to hold Rajya Sabha members accountable like Lok Sabha members are,” said a BJP leader.

PM Modi, who has introduced several novel ways to ensure that party leaders demonstrate work on ground in their constituencies, will also address the MPs.

He had reminded the BJP’s Lok Sabha MPs during this month’s monsoon session that they had not been filing report cards on work done in constituencies regularly.

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