Rajnath lauds Modi and Advani

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{image-advani+vajpayee_27012008.jpg www.oneindia.com}New Delhi, Jan 27: BJP president Rajnath Singh's inaugural speech at the party's daylong National Executive meeting here was more or less 'Advani-centric' as he coincided the poll victory in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh with the Leader of the Opposition L K Advani having been named the party's prime ministerial candidate.

''The month of December 2007 was also very important for us. In this month, we decided the name of Mr Advani as the future prime minister of the country from the side of our party. In the last week of the same month, we won the elections held for the assemblies of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh,'' he said.

Mr Rajnath recalled that the name of Mr Advani was having a special place among all parties in contemporary politics. ''Mr Advani has given memorable contribution along with Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee for the political rise of BJP and I hope that the party under his leadership would achieve memorable victory in the next election...We are all fortunate that we have been getting the guidance of both Mr Advani nad Mr Vajpayee all these years,'' he said.

While thanking the NDA for endorsing BJP's choice of Mr Advani as the prime ministerial candidate, Mr Singh said the NDA had given a message of ''unity and collectivity'' and this collectivity would lead them to success.

The importance to Mr Advani became more pronounced when party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad told newspersons that Mr Advani would be giving ''margdarshan(direction)'' to the executive in his concluding remarks this evening, departing from the party's convention of leaving the space for the party president alone to enlist party programmes and give message to the cadres on the first day of the party conclave.

Mr Singh's speech also made a special mention of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Himchal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal for their poll victory, adding that ''the victory of Gujarat has silenced all our opponents. This victory has sent a positive message with regard to our ideological commitment and our ability in the field of development.'' Similarly, Bhopal also got a special mention when Mr Singh observed that the party had come to power at the Centre after its Executive Meeting in Bhopal in 1996. Again, Bhopal was proving lucky for the party which won the elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh after its executive meeting there in September last year.

Describing the NDA as the group of natural parties, he dismissed the UPA as a lot of unnatural allies which were together only for the purpose of keeping the BJP away from power. UPA had lost confidence of the people and Parliament for ''all practical purposes'', he asserted, hoping ''this unnatural grouping would not be able to befool the people anymore''.

Mr Rajnath Singh also made a fervent appeal to the Election Commission and the political parties to look into the possibility of simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies as frequent elections kept the political parties always in election mode, giving least attention to important national responsibilities. Launching a blistering attack on the failures of the UPA, the BJP president said the government had miserably failed to assure 'bread and security' for the country. The farmers continued to commit suicides notwithstanding the economic package announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, the malice had spread to newer areas like Bundelkhand where even the landless were killing themselves unable to meet the two ends meet, he said.

Mr Singh called for convening a special session of Parliament to discuss the plight of farmers and landless labourers. Parliament should exert pressure on the UPA government to wake up to realities and take corrective measures.

Taking a dig at Left parties, he regretted that West Bengal Government was having 10 per cent of its population going to bed without their meals, which was the highest in the country.

Criticising the Centre for pursuing the appeasement policy, the BJP president reminded that the allocations for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes had been reduced by two per cent while the government laid out higher allocations for the 90 districts dominated by Muslims. ''This is a dangerous trend reminiscent of the British giving a package to the Muslims ahead of the Partition,'' he said.

''The BJP is for overall development of the poor in general and not confined to any religious followers.''

Spelling out the party's strategy for capturing power at the Centre, Mr Rajnath Singh said the BJP needed to hold on to power in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and come to power on its own strength in Karnataka during 2008 as the first step closer to greater power. He opposed any delay in holding elections in Karnataka where the party had become a victim of political machinations when it was BJP's turn to head the coalition.

Turning to the North-East, he said that in Nagaland, the people were agitated over the imposition of President's Rule using undemocratic and unconstitutional means. Former chief minister Neiphiu Rio's Nagaland People's Front (NPF) had got 18 of the 60 assembly seats, while the NDA constituents got 15 seats including seven of BJP, five of Samata Party and three of JD(U).

In Meghalaya, no single party was in majority and the former Chief Minister J D Rymbai himself had deserted the Congress to join the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the common people were in miserable condition. The BJP had wrested two seats in the last election and the party hoped to increase its tally.

Tripura was the only state in the region where the Communists were in power and the people were fed up with corruption and oppression of the Leftist parties. Law and order in the state had collapsed and the government was virtually a can of financial scandals, he alleged.

Describing BJP's recent victory in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh as 'spectacular', Mr Singh said retaining power in Gujarat after an orchestrated campaign by the Congress-led UPA parties was a victory for the party's ideology and the good work done by Chief Minister Narendra Modi. In Himachal Pradesh, the people had opted for the good work turned out by Chief Minister P K Dhumal in his previous tenure in preference over Mr Virbhadra Singh of Congress.

The support extended by Mr Shantha Kumar to the party had shattered the lies of the Congress about internal problems in the BJP.

On the working of the UPA, the BJP president said it continued to work in an authoritarian manner not taking the opposition or its own allies into confidence on issues of national importance, be it the Indo-US nuclear deal or Chinese incursions in Arunachal Pradesh. The Centre had failed to raise the issue of terrorism effectively on the international fora. The Government remained inactive to Bangladeshi infiltration even after Supreme Court upturned the Illegal Migrants Detection Tribunal Act as 'ultra-vires' of the Constitution. The crisis in Nepal had also worsened due to weak UPA policies, he said.

During the daylong deliberations, the BJP's National Executive will get updates on the latest political situation from the state party units going to polls in 2008 and finalise the resolutions for the National Council meeting scheduled for tomorrow and day after at Ramlila Grounds here. Mr Advani will be addressing the Executive as well as the concluding session of the Council meeting.

UNI

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