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How BJP will go about setting its house in order
September 06, 2006 12:15 IST
As power appeared to be slipping from its hands in Jharkhand, The Bharatiya Janata Party's top brass is converging at Dehradun on Thursday to chalk out strategy for the assembly polls in four states including Uttar Pradesh, amid signals that it is going to be a tough battle for the saffron party in Hindi heartland.
The three-day national executive is being held at a time when the party has failed to come out of its internal turmoil and its pet ideological issues, including Ayodhya, appeared to have lost steam.
The controversy surrounding the centenary of Vande Mataram has come in handy for the saffron party to focus once again on its core Hindutva campaign amid expectations in the party that the row over the national song would help it galvanise its ideological constituency.
Party stalwarts Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Kishenchand Advani and Rajnath Singh will lead the singing of full Vande Mataram -- which includes portions opposed seven decades ago by the Muslim League -- before the start of the BJP's office bearers' meeting, BJP sources said.
The assembly polls, especially in UP, are crucial for the BJP and party president Rajnath Singh, who hails from that state.
In an attempt to build bridges with the Sangh Parivar and re-establish itself as a party espousing the Hindutva cause, the BJP aims to send out a nationalist message ahead of the elections.
The Vande Mataram row has in fact given a common cause to the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, whose ties have strained over the past few years over ideological issues.
"The opposition to Vande Mataram has put both the Congress and the Samajwadi Party in the dock. The concept of the nation evokes powerful sentiments, and it can yield electoral benefits for the BJP," a party leader said.
The BJP has named the venue for the executive as the Vande Mataram hall.
Another theme the saffron party would utilise is the issue of national security.
The executive will adopt a resolution on security, voicing concern over the rise in terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, Naxalism in several states and insurgency in the Northeast.
Some defence experts are expected to enlighten the top leadership of the dangers -- internal and external -- on security front.
While the address of the party president on the opening day will cover the entire political scenario, the party has no plans to adopt a separate resolution on the political situation.
Another step to take on the Congress-led coalition at the Centre would be the resolution on the rising prices of essential commodities.
The meet is likely to come out with a progamme of agitation on this issue.
The meeting would conclude on Saturday with addresses by Advani and Vajpayee.But the BJP's office-bearers' meeting before the party's national executive will take up party issues as well including the main Opposition's poor showing in the monsoon session because its leader Jaswant Singh's 'mole-in-the-PMO' controversy.