Nagpur, Feb.6 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party leaders from across India gathered here on Friday to draw a roadmap for the general elections likely to take place April -May this year.
The three-day meeting of the party's national executive and the two day meeting of its national council would be BJP's last major gathering before taking on the ruling Congress-led UPA government at the hustings.
In his speech to the gathering party president Rajnath Singh said: "It is for the first time in the country that a direct contest is going to take place between two alliances. On the one hand, the UPA in its present form has emerged as a result of the diminishing base of the Congress. On the other hand, the BJP-led NDA, in its present form, has emerged with the increasing political expansion of the BJP."
"In terms of party politics, starting as a small party, the BJP has been able to increase its stature higher than the Congress'. In the politics of alliance, the BJP emerged as a pioneer and Congress had to follow. While the UPA is the crumbling fort of the past, the NDA under the leadership of the BJP is the rising sun of future," he added.
He further went on to reiterate that senior party leader Lal Krishna Advani would be the NDA's prime ministerial candidate, and that the people of the country are keen to know who would be the prime ministerial candidate of the UPA.
"We have already started our preparations many months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Even now, we are engaged in these preparations. We will have to undertake further preparations with our full dedication and commitment. We have to leave no stone unturned so that the results are favourable and we get the majority," Singh said.
The country is now awaiting to see as to who will hoist the tricolour at the Red Fort on the coming 15th August? Keeping in mind the inclination of the BJP karyakartas, supporters and the inclination of the people of the country, I can say with complete faith that the people of the country will elect our senior leader Lal Krishna Advaniji as the next prime minister of the country," he added.
He further said that over the last five years, elections to 17 state assemblies have taken place. The Congress has been able to win only four state assemblies on its own.
"This clearly exemplifies that the Congress has lost ground all over India. From being a very large political party, a situation has now come whereby the Congress cannot survive without an alliance," Singh emphatically said.
On the issue of terrorism. Singh said that the need of the hour was all parties to stand united against the menace.
"The nation wants to fight terrorism. For a nation which has defeated Pakistan on four occasions, can terrorism be a factor against it? But if the UPA government itself decides to surrender before it, then with whom will the self respect of the entire country stand? In the last session of parliament, the anti-terror law was passed. Even though its provisions were not adequate, we supported the central government. The BJP will continue to support all kinds of measures against terrorism. We are committed to this," he said.
"Today, the flame of terrorism is engulfing every part of the country. A few days ago, a new and unusual dimension was added to terrorism when comic actors started receiving threats and warnings that they should not make fun of the underworld dons and terrorists. This proves the extent to which the terrorists have been emboldened. One has to contemplate as to how such a situation has been created," he added.
During its tenure, the UPA government has committed not one but four strategic and diplomatic blunders with respect to Pakistan,Singh said.
- On January 6, 2004, at the time of Vajpayee government, Pakistan had in a joint statement committed that it would not allow its land to be used for anti-India terror activities. However, in 2005, in the joint statement that was released, there was not even a mention about Pakistan's this commitment.
- In 2006, at the Non Aligned Summit in Havana, the Prime Minister by declaring Pakistan a victim of terrorism, gave it an escape route to defend itself.
- The joint statement released by India and Pakistan stated that terror incidents would not be allowed to become an impediment in the path of the peace talks. As a result of this, the opportunity for creating diplomatic pressure in the wake of terrorist attacks has been lost.
- The biggest blunder by the government was to agree to form an Indo-Pak joint anti-terror mechanism. Under this mechanism, there is an arrangement that India and Pakistan will share terror related information and evidence with each other. Taking advantage of this, on the basis of media reports, Pakistan has demanded the handing over the Malegaon accused Lt. Col. Purohit in the Samjhauta Express incident.
India, he said, should dissociate itself from the joint terror mechanism which was declared on 16th September 2006 in Havana by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf.
Instead of showing dependence on any country, the central government should act strongly against terrorism on its own, he emphasised.
On the state of the economy, the BJP president said that the economic crisis has intensified on account of the policies pursued by the UPA government.
"The "dream team of talented economists" - Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, P. Chidambaram who remained Finance Minister for four and half years and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia - kept misleading the country. Their developmental plans were not in sync with the ground realities," Singh said.
He also claimed that the UPA has been completely anti-farmers and anti-workers.If the neglect of agriculture and farmer is not immediately halted, the pace of development in the country will get arrested, he warned.
"There is a leadership crisis in UPA (India's ruling United Progressive Alliance) and everyday the names of new prime ministerial candidates are coming. We (BJP) just want to ask from the UPA that who is your prime ministerial candidate- Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Ram Vilas Paswan or Lalu Prasad Yadav. The entire country is watching," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told media on the sidelines of the meeting on Friday.
Prasad said that unemployment would be one of the major poll issues of the BJP.
"The economic meltdown has created severe unemployment crisis in the country and the ruling alliance is not doing anything about it. We will take all these issues to the public," noted Prasad.(ANI)