Need more internal democracy in political parties: PM Modi

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In his address during Deepawali Mangal Milan programme at BJP headquarters in New Delhi, Mr Modi urged all to make democracy within the political parties a subject of debate as people are not aware of the structure of the parties, their ideologies and functioning.

Though the prime minister made no reference to any rival party, but his comments come against the backdrop of reports that the Congress may elevate its vice president Rahul Gandhi as president in place of his mother Sonia Gandhi. The Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance 2017 is also at variance with BJP's rhetoric against corruption. Do democratic values form the core of their values.

"This should be a topic of wide debate in the country because the quality of democracy depends on that of political parties".

Modi also said there was a time when the BJP was ideologically a monolith, with ideological harmony from its central leadership to workers.

"There must be a detailed debate about the shortcomings in political parties too", he remarked, adding in the BJP, "Often many voices are heard" - in an oblique reference to the likes of Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha.

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The party's expansion may be a reason behind divergent views, he said. He said the nation is entering the new year with a lot of positivity.

While the government and media may have complaints against each other, Modi hoped the two can still amicably work together as both care for the country's interests.

The Prime Minister recalled his good rapport with the media when he was an office-bearer of the party in Delhi and said he faced constraints now in meeting freely with journalists. He also appreciated the role of media in helping the Swachh Bharat Mission. "Half of the newspaper pages would be filled with the government's criticism".

Applauding the media, he said that the press has a huge impact on people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP National President Amit Shah pose for a group photo with journalists. But when it comes to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, all are on the same page.

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