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No point in blame game: Venkaiah
Amberish K Diwanji | June 22, 2004 15:54 IST
Last Updated: June 22, 2004 16:53 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party president M Venkaiah Naidu flagged off the party's national executive meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday by seeking refuge in Hindutva and in flaying what he termed as the pseudo-secularism of the United Progressive Alliance government.
He said it was shocking that the government's Common Minimum Programme did not even mention cross-border terrorism.
Referring to the gunning down of Ishrat Jahan, a Mumbra-based girl, by the Gujarat police in connection with a plot to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi, he said it was shocking that the killing of a terrorist was being made into a Hindu-Muslim issue.
Naidu stressed that the BJP was not apologetic about its Hindutva agenda and said it was the party's foremost task to rededicate itself to its ideology and idealism. "There is speculation in the media about the BJP going back to Hindutva. The question of going back does not arise because we have never left it, nor will we ever leave it," he said in his speech.
He said the party would also continue its emphasis on development. "The BJP has twin commitments: cultural nationalism and development. Indeed, the two are interrelated," he told the audience of 200 that had flown in from across the country to attend the two-day session.
Naidu added that the party must also expand its work among the farmers and rural poor.
Listing three principles of introspection, he said that the party members should be positive and constructive in their criticism and while individuals must not be blamed, they must nevertheless held accountable. He said the party would develop a system of accountability so the various office-bearers could be held responsible for their actions.
As party president, he accepted moral responsibility for the BJP's defeat in the general election and thanked the members for continuing to repose faith in his presidency. Naidu insisted that there was no anti-BJP wave nor any pro-Congress wave considering that the latter won just seven seats more than the former (145 to the BJP's 138).
Overconfidence and complacency were to blame for the BJP's defeat, he added.
He also blamed the "anti-incumbency factor", pointing out that nearly 50 per cent of the Lok Sabha members who were re-nominated failed to hold on to their seats.
The UPA was an "opportunistic arrangement for power sharing", he said.
The party president urged the members present to prepare for the forthcoming assembly elections in five states - Bihar, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra. He warned that elections in Uttar Pradesh might be held earlier and asked his colleagues to be prepared.
On a key issue troubling the BJP, Naidu said the party would identify and develop young people to emerge as leaders of the future at every level. He said the party would hold orientation classes for its young workers and that it was setting up a training institute in memory of former president Kushabhau Thakre in Bhopal.
He urged the party members to fight casteism and sectarianism. He said the BJP was of the firm opinion that caste-based politics was not in the interest of India and called upon his party to strengthen the national outlook of the country's society and polity.
Naidu said the BJP would play the role of an effective opposition, and would spare no effort in exposing the contradictions and failures of the new government. He pointed out that the campaign against the 'tainted' ministers (the ministers who face criminal charges) was just the beginning and that the party would soon launch a campaign against the Congress and Communists parties attempts to "re-falsify India's history in the name of de-saffronisation of textbooks".
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