After a few months, the country will witness massive political campaigns as people will elect their new government in the next general elections, 2019. Most of the political parties have already commenced working on their election agenda. This general election will be the most significant, because, for the first time, all the opposition parties, avoiding their ideological differences, would be united to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA. One of the curious facts about these political parties claiming to be united against Modi is that they fight with each other in different states. Therefore, it is evident that their self-interests are behind their compromise and they don’t want to be wiped out from their constituencies like Mayawati’s BSP in 2014. Probably, this is the reason behind SP-BSP (arch-rival) unity in Uttar Pradesh, one of the decisive states in the context of Lok Sabha seats. It is being perceived that Mamata Banerjee of TMC might go with her arch-rival Congress and CPI to eliminate BJP’s probability in West Bengal. This might also be seen in newly formed Seemandhra where Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP, a former ally of BJP, might form an alliance with his political rival Congress in the state.
Against this backdrop, the two-day BJP National Executive Meeting, organised at Ambedkar International Center, New Delhi, on September 8, 2018, assumes significance. In the meeting, BJP stalwarts like Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Prakash Javadekar, Nitin Gadkari including all the Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states and other senior leaders of the party were among the participants. As per the discussions of this meet by party leaders, this meet was most likely for chalking out strategies to meet the opposition’s challenges in 2019 elections.
According to the political analysts, agriculture would be the common area for all the political parties to garner rural and farmers’ votes, which will be the most vital factor in the formation of the next government. Keeping this in mind, the first day of the BJP National Executive Meet was devoted to the farmer and rural issues, in which government’s initiatives for the welfare of farmers like minimum support price, increase in agricultural production, trade policy for agriculture development, Prime Minister’s crop insurance scheme, soil health card, fertilizer, irrigation, farmer loans, employment generation in rural areas, green energy, fisheries department, white revolution etc. were discussed.
On the second day of the meet, Narendra Modi addressed the concluding session, whose highlights were put before the media by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. According to Prasad, paying homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Modi said that Atal ji took the ideology, culture, and leadership of the BJP to new heights. PM Modi also coined the new slogan “Ajey Bharat, Atal BJP”- Invincible India, Resolute BJP. While attacking the opposition, Modi said it is important to have an opposition in a democracy, so that it could hold the government accountable. However, those who had been a failure in power had also been a failure in the opposition. We live for resolve and we have both policy and strategy.
“Parties that could not see eye to eye earlier are now being forced to embrace each other. This is the biggest vindication for us,” Prasad quoted Modi as saying. Repeating lies have become a habit of the opposition who is without strategy and leadership. The opposition should challenge the government on issues of ideology and policy, but the problem is that it challenges the government based on “lies”, said Modi.
Here the Prime Minister’s attack on the opposition should be seen in the context of Rafale deal, which is allegedly said to be a scam because of the price difference between both the NDA and UPA deals. However, it is important to mention that the UPA deal was not even finalised then. According to the government, this deal is 20 per cent cheaper than UPA government’s negotiation with Dassault Aviation.
According to Prasad, while addressing the meet, BJP President Amit Shah said that BJP will win the 2019 polls, and after victory in the 2019 polls, nobody will be able to remove us for the next 50 years. BJP President also touched issues like Urban Naxal and Opposition’s strategy to stop Modi in 2019. He also said that BJP supports Indian citizenship for those Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Christian refugees who have been persecuted in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, while addressing the media said that the political resolution was moved by Rajnath Singh on the second day of BJP’s National Executive Meeting, in which it was resolved that the BJP would return to power with a bigger mandate in 2019. “Today BJP has its governments in 19 states with over 350 MPs and 1500 MLAs. Terrorist activities have decreased under the Narendra Modi-led government. We are focusing on PM’s concept of New India,” said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
“The Prime Minister promised a new India, and after four years, the country has progressed. New India will be free from poverty, terrorism, corruption by 2022. Our PM has passion, vision and imagination. There has been a drop in terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalism has also reduced,” Javadekar quoted Rajnath Singh as saying.
In this executive meeting, it was confirmed that BJP would contest Lok Sabha elections under the leadership of BJP President Amit Shah, whose presidential term is ending in January 2019. This BJP National Executive Meeting was fully focused on 2019 general elections and the result of this meet could be seen in a few months.
By Ravi Mishra