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PM seeks debate on political parties' internal democracy

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday stressed the "need to have transparency in the recruitment process of political parties". Interacting with newsmen at the annual "Diwali Milan" programme at the ruling BJP's headquarters here, he called for a debate on internal democracy in all political parties and asserted that the growth of a "true democratic spirit" within them is necessary for the country's future.

Funding to political parties is often debated but not their values, ideologies, internal democracy and how they give opportunities to new generations of leaders, Modi pointed out. "Whether democratic values are a part of their (parties) core values or not, should be debated widely.... I believe that the development of a true democratic spirit within political parties is necessary not only for the country's future but also for democracy," he said.
Although Modi made no reference to any particular party, his comments came in the backdrop of reports that the Congress may soon elevate its vice-president and Nehru-Gandhi family scion Rahul Gandhi as party president in place of his mother Sonia Gandhi. The BJP has often accused the Congress of practising dynastic politics and juxtaposed that with the rise of its own party workers to top echelons to project itself as "a party with a difference".
The Prime Minister, who was speaking in the presence of BJP national President Amit Shah and Union ministers Smriti Irani, Nirmala Sitharaman and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, also lauded the media's role in garnering support for the 'Swacchta Abhiyan' project. "The media unanimously supported this programme and spoke in one voice in support of it. Despite reels of newspaper print and television airtime dedicated to criticism of the government, the media has wholeheartedly extended its support to this programme," he said.
He also expressed his regret at not being able to interact with the media as often as he used to when he was a BJP worker. "It feels nice to meet my friends from the media without their cameras, papers and pens. We have a long association with each other and there is an understanding with which we all work for the country," Modi said.
"You show us what we need to focus on. There are so many different types of media nowadays. Coming here, among you brings back memories of when I was working in the party headquarters and spent time with many of you. Nowadays, though, you complain that we do not get to sit and chat like we used to. The times have changed and that has created a crunch for us to interact with each other," the PM added.

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