【New Delhi】As the Budget 2018 was unveiled, Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked more keen to placate angry rural voters and create jobs than please the BJP's traditional middle-class supporters before the Lok Sabha elections next year.
Though Finance Minister Arun Jaitley went at length to say that the middle class too would beneft, the BJP's problems with the rural sector appeared overwhelming.
Even BJP insiders said the frantic efforts to address the discontent over falling farm incomes was all too apparent as news trickled in about the party's loss in Rajasthan bypolls to the Lok Sabha and the state Assembly.
A number of schemes, including what Jaitley called 'Modicare' for the world's largest healthcare insurance scheme to cover 500 million people, were seen as coming ahead of the eight states polls this year and another four in the first half of 2019, alongside the general elections.
○Budget 2018 takes steps to double farmers' income: Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
【New Delhi】The Budget is in consonance with the party ideology of serving the poor and benefits reaching the last person: the ideology of 'Garib Kalyan' (uplift of poor) adopted by the BJP for providing 'roti, kapda aur makaan' (food, clothes and house), along with 'davai, padhai-likhai aur rozgar' (medicine, education and employment) to the needy.
Opening a 'grameen agriculture market' to protect the interests of small and marginal farmers is welcome, says Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
Modi more keen to placate angry rural voters than middle class
Budget 2018 takes steps to double farmers' income: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
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