It was a chilly Sunday, when two-day BJP National Council concluded with a hard-hitting comprehensive speech made by prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, which sent out his clear vision for making India the vishwaguru. The party chief Rajnath Singh also presented well-thought-out ideas and strategies for the roadmap to the forthcoming general elections, taking anecdotes from party’s ideological moorings. The senior leaders of the party and its chief ministers all presented an ingenious recipe for the party to face challenges so as to achieve 272 plus seats in its kitty.
It seemed at the National Council as if the BJP this time were in a war-footing mode to extend a red-carpet welcome to Narendra Modi in 2014. This was substantiated by the party’s patriarch LK Advani’s exhortation to the National Council members to work hard and leave no stone unturned so that “Narendra Bhai could be sworn-in as the Prime Minister of India in the month of June 2014”. But, at the same time, Shri Advani advised the cadres to be cautious and not to be over-confident. Thank God, the former Deputy Prime Minister has now started patting Narendra Modi on his back and his so-called loyalists now would seemingly fall in line for the greater interest of the party! This is a sea change in the BJP, one can observe from a distance, and of course the credit goes to crisis manager Shri Rajnath Singh, who took over the party at a right time and has successfully managed to fulfil the aspirations of the party and the RSS and has enthused and enthralled the party cadres by infusing a sense of vigour into them. Now one marks unity among BJP’s senior leaders while they being delivering their pious duties to move the party ahead before the general elections and to frustrate the opposition’s expectations at different levels.
At the National Council conclave, the party cadres for the first time appeared in an aam aadmi look with an AAP-style cap, though saffron in colour. “Vote for India and vote for Modi” is the slogan this time. All over the venue, there were more than 25 stalls, where cadres were engaged in raising funds for Modi to achieve the 272+ target.
At the conclave, the party served hot desi food like kadi chawal and daal rooti, true to its tradition, and a clear message was sent out to the cadres to have a simple living and high thinking. This time their leader is from a backward caste, hails from a poor family and has served as a tea vendor and his mother ran the family by working as a domestic help. Modi has risen from the booth level to be the contender for the Prime Minister’s chair. The party has presented a poor man for the top post from a village of Gujarat, where Mahatma Gandhi was born. Modi now has many credited points to his side to counter the opposition. “Every time Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi talks of the poor, visiting cottages of poor men, talking about the common man, it becomes a big flop,” said Modi and lambasted the Congress that “a poor can understand and feel the pain of a poor man more than a leader from a dynasty”. All said and done, now Modi has thrown down the gauntlet to the grand-old Congress party to fulfil the cherished dream of Gandhiji, which the BJP has now promised to fulfil, and the party advised the Congress to dissolve the party for failing to fulfil the wish of the Mahatma. Gandhiji had a dream of swaraj and suraj, on which the BJP is now focussing.
MODI’S POLICY PLANS
■ “We should have real time data to know when to import and when to export.”
■ “There needs to be a price stabilisation fund to ensure the poor could afford food.”
■ “Shashak nahi Sewak, you have given them (Congress) 60 years to rule, give me 60 months to set the things right.”
■ “Every paisa stored in a foreign account illegally will be brought back and used to benefit the poor.”
■ “The BJP would ensure the empowerment of the poor, ensuring the creation of institutes of higher learning in every state, reforming healthcare, developing the dairy industry, and ensuring power supply across the country.”
■ “I can understand troubles of every state and chief minister. BJP will empower the federal structure of nation.”
■ “My 5T formula for developing the nation is: Talent, Tourism, Technology, Tradition and Trade.”
The party also, as usual, stressed to follow the ideals of Deendayal Upadhyaya and advised the cadres to reach to the last man of the society to alleviate his sufferings. All the cadres were told to reach every voter at every booth and request the common man that a leader now wants to be the Prime Minister, who is penniless, so he needs your help to raise the funds to achieve 272+ seats. “Crores of men in my country would feel my pain and join hands with me to lead the nation.” A clear message was given at the conclave that there cannot be a better common man’s face that of Narendra Modi, who can be instrumental in the uplift of the common man and making our nation the vishwaguru.
Narendra Modi’s 90-minute speech was like an interactive session, and perhaps the longest political speech of his carrier, where he gave his clear vision of a developed India and enumerated schemes in detail for different sectors post-2014 elections. Without naming Aam Aadmi Party, Modi launched a veiled attack on it and vehemently pronounced that people should trust his “track record” on governance and not the “tape record” of AAP’s promises.
If one studies Modi’s speech, then one can say that for the first time he has presented a progressive and holistic thinking for a great nation called India. All along his long list of aspirations starting from eroding poverty, controlling inflation, expanding infrastructure development to using ultra-modern information technologies, Modi has a wishful thinking for making India a superpower and then “branding” India world over. He has a better option for the poor in the form of price stabilisation fund, which would work wonder for the common man when he falls prey to inflation. For common man’s health, he suggested preventive health care, which would be an assurance for good health, instead of health insurance. He wants IITs, IIMs and AIIMs in every state for better higher education; he prefers at least four universities for development, and research for Indian Railways. He emphasised that by the time the country celebrates the diamond jubilee of Independence in 2022, we should have bullet trains going in four directions. So that the world would start seeing us with a new vision.
Modi expressed concern for unequal development and regional imbalance in India and criticised the Central government for “big brother attitude” towards state governments. Instead Modi has a vision to develop the nation with a combined team and unified approach of all the state chief ministers and bureaucrats of all the states and the Centre. To make our nation a developed one, the country needs commitments, not committees, action, not acts, Modi thundered. Reacting on the deteriorating law and order situation and unsafe environment in India, he laid stress on empowering the women and advised that the women should play the role of nation-maker along with home-maker and for that he emphasised the need for strengthening women literacy. Along with development of women the country needs to tap the youth power as we have 65 per cent population below 35 years. He spoke of the need for upholding what he regarded as India’s traditions likening it to a rainbow with seven shades—family values, agriculture and rural India, empowerment of women, environment, youth, democracy and knowledge. He stressed the need for enhancing the essence of democracy in India, exploring our vast natural resources and banking upon the knowledge bank.
While focussing on brand India, he laid emphasis on five Ts: Tradition, talent, tourism, technology and trade. He pledged himself to the cause of a social welfare schemes that would bring India on par with developed economies. He advised that the country has to treat urbanisation as an “opportunity”, not as a “challenge”, something India has not done. A BJP government under him will build 100 new cities to be developed as smart cities, twin-cities and satellite cities.
When one goes into the detail of the two-day National Council and one-day Executive in Delhi, one can conclude that the party has pressed its election button and has trained its cadres to get, set, ready and fire. After Atal Behari Vajpayee, Narendra Modi is the biggest-ever title for the saffron party to reap harvest in 2014 elections. The backward caste leader Modi has a good track record of governance, is a strong Hindu leader, popular among youths and hails from an aam aadmi family. Let’s see how the lion fights against the dynasty scion Rahul Gandhi and of course Arvind Kejriwal, who has become a stumbling blocks, of late.
By Deepak Kumar Rath