New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office has reportedly sent out a wishlist to all the ministers saying Christmas this year, which the Narendra Modi government has declared as Good Governance Day, be considered a working day for the NDA government.
The PMO is likely to follow the wishlist with a detailed plan for the day, which also happens to be former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 90th birthday. The PMO note says that ministers and MPs should visit “sensitive districts and organise events on good governance and sanitation on December 25” and also hold other events including seminars with eminent speakers, e-governance camps and promoting digital literacy.
The Department of Personnel and Training is expected to send a circular soon with suggestions of activities for ministers and government employees on Christmas Day, which is a gazetted holiday.
The PMO wishlist comes days after a row erupted over the Human Resource Development Ministry headed by Smriti Irani issuing a circular on schools and colleges holding various activities on the Good Governance Day. The government later clarified that the institutions will be closed for Christmas, though the “voluntary” participation of students on a public holiday has been questioned by opposition parties.
The BJP, which is facing an aggressive opposition over conversion and black money, has asked its MPs to draw parallels between Vajpayee’s six-year government and Modi’s six-month rule. They have also been told to hold cleanliness drives and a feedback session with people in their constituencies.
The government’s directive related to a major Christian holiday comes amidst a raging row over conversion which has paralysed the functioning of Parliament for about two weeks now.