At Allahabad meet, BJP beats 56-inch chest

Poornima Joshi Allahabad | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on June 13, 2016

Sounding upbeat Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with BJP spokesperson Srikant Sharma at a press conference in Allahabad on Monday RAJEEV BHATT

Says Cong-mukt Bharat is in sight, launches alliance for North-East States

The BJP’s national executive on Monday concluded that it is “the party of the present and the party of the future”, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi reminding delegates that the “time for slogans is over” and they have to adopt a seven-point code of conduct in order to be part of the process of “history being made”.

The BJP passed a political resolution celebrating the growing realisation of its pledge for a “Congress-Mukt Bharat”, especially in the light of having wrested Assam from the Congress in the recent Assembly polls.

The PM spoke at the concluding day of the ruling party’s strategic meeting, asserting that the BJP is witnessing history in the making, where years of the party’s struggle have borne fruit and it has acquired political power at the Centre and at the States.

He talked about the need for the party brass to direct political power towards social welfare and adopt higher standards for individual conduct.

Political resolution

His address followed the adoption of a political resolution that underlined the emergence of the BJP as the biggest pan-Indian party, especially with its recent victories in Assam and growth in the southern States and the “shrinking of the Congress”.

Modi’s prescribed code comprised “service, balance, patience, coordination, positive thoughts, compassion and dialogue”.

“We are witnessing history in the making when years of our struggle have borne fruit. We are in power at the Centre and in the States but this power should be used to serve people. We have a chance to create a strong nation and use the political weight of the party for people’s welfare,” he told BJP delegates.

Briefing the media later, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said 2016 is an important political landmark in that the BJP’s geographical expansion coincides with the completion of the Central government’s two-year tenure. “From the time we believed that there are two important national parties, 2016 marks a significant turn in contemporary politics wherein the BJP’s geographical expansion and popular support is relatively much stronger,” he said.

Jaitley, however, dismissed a suggestion that India’s polity is becoming “unipolar”. “Politics is never unipolar. The vacuum in the opposition is always filled by somebody,” he remarked. The Finance Minister confined himself to the meta-narrative, not focusing too much on the Congress’s decline but on the BJP’s expansion.

But the BJP’s political resolution was triumphant in the growing realisation of its pledge for “Congress-Mukt Bharat”.

Poll success

“The singularly resounding message of this round of Assembly elections has been the comprehensive and unequivocal rejection of the Congress Party by the voters in different States. In Assam and Kerala, where they were the ruling party, the electorate has shown a big thumbs-down to them. They were also rejected in other two major States – West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

“In fact, people have not only rejected the Congress but also severely punished those who have aligned with them in a most duplicitous manner in their greed for power,” the political resolution said.

“The national executive notes with pleasure that a call given by Prime Minister Modi during the Lok Sabha elections for Congress-Mukt Bharat has today become a people’s mission,” the resolution said.

Expanding footprint

According to the Finance Minister, while this geographical expansion is politically significant, discussions in the meeting centred around how to consolidate further in States such as Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. His summary was reflected in the party’s political resolution, which said: “The landslide victory in Assam has given us a great opportunity to expand our footprint in the entire north-eastern region…Keeping the greater significance of the region in mind, and with a view to promoting all-round development, the BJP has constituted the North East Democratic Alliance — NEDA. An alliance of the non-Congress political parties from the eight north-eastern States, NEDA will emerge as a powerhouse of faster development of the entire region. It will also help us expand the party in the entire region.”

The resolution also talked about the party’s expansion further into the east and the west coast. “The Coromandel Coast spanning from West Bengal to Tamil Nadu and Kerala has seen enthusiastic support of the voters to the BJP during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. We secured a good vote share in all the States on the country’s southern and eastern coast like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Orissa and West Bengal...

“The party has started working on strengthening our organisational network in this region. The recently concluded Assembly elections encourage us to take the efforts forward.”

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Published on June 13, 2016
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