The Bhartiya Janata Party’s two day national executive from June 3-4, began in the state capital of UP on Friday on a lukewarm note. Already grappling with the absence of their most powerful leader and Member of Parliament from Lucknow Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is ailing and stays put in Delhi, Baba Ramdev’s anti-corruption campaign drama in Delhi also totally shifted the ‘news’ focus from the saffron party’s conclave in the state capital. The Yoga Guru, who had totally captured the attention of both the national and local media, proved to be the biggest despoiler for BJP’s very important conclave just prior to state assembly elections in 2012.
Bombarded with questions on BJP’s role and support to Baba Ramdev, the party finally told the press that they fully supported and endorsed Ramdev’s tirade against corruption and black money. But the BJP did not forget to add that actually it was their party which has spearheaded this movement against corruption, by exposing the scams of Congress which they declared as the “most corrupt political party since Independence.”
BJP’s top brass such as LK Advani, national president Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitely, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiyya Naidu, Vinay Katiyar, Lalji Tandon, Kalraj Mishra, BJP’s poster boy Varun Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi along with the glitterati like Shatrughan Sinha, Smriti Irani, Kiran Kher, etc., were present at the meeting held at the Convention Centre in the city.
In his presidential address Mr Gadkari called Lucknow a “vibrant centre of ideological movement”. He said that though the Jan Sangh was formally established in Delhi, several important meetings prior to its formation—some six decades—back were held in Lucknow.
Calling Lucknow, city of Laxman—Lord Ram’s younger brother who set the principles of fraternity—Gadkari said the city was synonymous with the likes of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and men of letters like poet Nirala. It was BJP’s presentation of historical facts, totally negating the contributions of the Awadh rulers, including Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and others.
SOME VITAL RESOLUTIONS PASSED BY THE EXECUTIVE
■ BJP preparing ‘vision document’ for Uttar Pradesh’s 20 crore population.
■ Fast tract courts promised for BSP regime crimes on farmers, common man if voted to power.
■ Party will work for building Ram Temple in Ayodhya, and for establishing Ram Rajya pan India.
■ Loans to farmers at 1-2 per cent promised.
■ Right to education Bill will be given top priority.
■ Conservation of rivers in Uttar Pradesh.
Elections to the 403-member assembly are due in 2012. In the present assembly, the BJP has 48 members. The party, therefore, made sure to “re-dedicate itself to the ideals of Ram” and commits itself to building a “grand Ram temple”. Eulogising of Atalji was also done in big measure.
“Gadkariji took the blessings of Vajpayeeji before coming to Lucknow,” BJP senior leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told the media persons adding that it was Vajpayeeji who told them that the passage to Delhi is through Lucknow. The Lok Sabha elections are slated for 2014.
The party is aware that its twin problems are factional fights and lack of a credible tall leader.
Emphasising the importance of the month of June—when Emergency was imposed by Congress Prime Minister Indira Gandhi—Gadkari said several of them were imprisoned at that time. The party maintained an aggressive electoral stand, saying it would have no pre- or post-poll alliances in Uttar Pradesh.
“There will be no alliance, either pre or post poll, with the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party or Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal,” said Mr Prasad.
MANEKA’S ATTENTION-DRAWING TACTIC
True style of grabbing media attention Maneka Gandhi took time off from the deliberations and strategies to make a surprise visit in old city area of Nakhhas. The lady, branded as an ambassador of street animals, wanted to demonstrate her great concern for caged birds’ being sold in the market. She set the birds trapped in the cages free, while at the same time, she called up forest department officials who took their time in reaching the spot. Before that a lot of bird sellers had escaped. However, Ms Gandhi got the media publicity that she is always seeking. The forest authorities have countered her allegation that the birds being sold in the open market fall under the prohibitory category.
Lashing out at Congress leader Digvijay Singh for his frequent outbursts against the BJP, party’s national spokesperson Shahnawaz Husain termed Singh as a mere ‘agent’ and not of any political consequences.
Meanwhile, the party continued its attack on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre, accusing it of shielding corruption as well as “abusing investigative agencies to target BJP-led state governments”.
In its resolution it said: “The massive corruption in the allotment of 2G licenses in the Ministry of Telecommunication, Government of India, would remain the most shameful saga in the history of Independent India. It is a copybook case of abuse and manipulation of system, misrepresentation and deception whereby, selected few were favoured in the grant of license and precious spectrum, obviously, for a huge price.”
The resolution said that the BJP will continue to fight against and expose the series of scam and scandals that has become the defining features of the UPA government. It has already undertaken all-India campaign against the corruption and scams of the UPA in the past.
“The BJP demands that all the black money of Indians deposited in various foreign banks, which are profits of crime and corruption, must be brought back to India in a time-bound manner by taking adequate, prompt and pro-active steps. It is equally important that all those including high and mighty, who are involved in various scams of the UPA government must be prosecuted.”
By Kulsum Mustafa From Lucknow