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BJP's advice for its chief ministers

Last updated on: May 10, 2011 20:46 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad has accused the United Progressive Alliance government of treating BJP-ruled states in a step-motherly manner.

He was briefing newsmen at the end of the two-day conclave of the chief ministers of the seven BJP ruled states. The conclave also included the chief ministers of Punjab and Bihar, which are ruled by the saffron party's allies.

He said that the party would raise the issue of discrimination by the Centre in Parliament. "We plan to raise the recommendations of the Justice Sarkaria Commission, which deals with the relationship between the Centre and the state, in the forthcoming session," he said.

"At the same time, we also undertake to look within. We also undertake to reform the system and rededicate ourselves to the cause of a corruption-free India. It is a matter of great satisfaction that several BJP state governments have won laurels for their excellent achievements," he said, reading out portions of the resolution adopted by the chief ministers.

Delivering the key note address at the end of the meeting, BJP patriarch L K Advani said that though the party was not in power at the Centre, "we are very much part of governance as we rule in nine states, which comprise over 35 per cent of the total population".

"Our focus should be probity and security and the three core sector areas -- education, health and antodya (serving the last man in the queue)," Advani said.

To ensure implementation of party ideology and agenda, the BJP central leadership on Tuesday directed its chief ministers to maintain time-bound and better coordination with the organisation in states where the party is in power.

The BJP top brass had organised a session during its conclave for its chief ministers to discuss the relationship between the state governments and the organisation.

In the session, chaired by former party president Rajnath Singh and moderated by general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan, chief ministers of the seven states where BJP is in power explained how they were keeping the party state units posted about their policies and programmes.

"Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he holds a meeting with the BJP state unit president every week. Similarly, a meeting of the general secretaries and organisation general secretary with cabinet ministers is held once in a fortnight," party spokesperson J P Nadda told media persons.

A meeting of party MLAs with office-bearers of the organisation is also held once a month.

This practice is to be followed by all the states where BJP is in power. Party president Nitin Gadkari, who was chosen by the RSS to head BJP, has tried to ensure that the organisation is kept in the loop by the chief ministers and the ideologies of Hindutva and Antyodaya are implemented by these governments.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal stated in his presentation that he usually takes the state unit president with him during his tours so that decisions are taken mutually and without any conflict.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said decision making should always be two-way. He maintained that in his state any policy to be implemented is passed from top to bottom and back for feedback and opinions.

As part of the programme aimed at reaching out to the local workers, ministers in Gujarat are expected to hold "tiffin meetings" where everybody brings his food and shares it with others during such interactions at village levels.

Nadda said this exercise is being done also to involve the party workers and satisfy their aspirations as many leaders  have not become part of the government in order to dedicate their energies for the organisation.

Party seniors have also underlined the need for exchanging notes on issues to keep each other on the same page as far as policies are concerned.

Chief Ministers are expected to meet the local BJP office-bearers and workers during their official tours to the state.

For the second time since the conclave began on Monday, rantings were heard against the "step-motherly" treatment meted out by the Centre to BJP and NDA-ruled states, and the role of governors in these states was also discussed.

"The Chief Ministers said governors in their states are acting like political agents of the UPA government. Efforts are being made to frustrate the plans and programmes of the BJP governments," Nadda said.

Citing examples, he insisted that several legislations passed by the state Assembly have not been given assent by the governor.

"The governors are neither rejecting nor accepting these legislations," he said.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley accused the UPA government of diluting the federal structure of the constitution.

"He said the dialogue between the states and the Central government is not taking place since the National Development Council and the Inter-State Council have become defunct," Nadda said, quoting Jaitley.

Narendra Modi said the Centre was discriminating against the BJP-ruled states by not practising financial impartiality and by misusing investigating agencies (like CBI) as a weapon against them and to pursue their political agenda.

Chouhan said Madhya Pradesh is not getting its quota of coal which was preventing his state from becoming self-reliant in power. He said the share of Madhya Pradesh was going to Chhattisgarh and vice-versa.

The Chief Ministers also discussed the success of their welfare schemes. The Central leadership wanted them to implement the successful schemes of other states for the benefit of the people.

Gram Swaraj scheme of Chhattisgarh, under which progress of 19 government schemes in each village is checked, Vikas Mitra scheme (Bihar) which monitors progress of Dalits, Lok Sewa Guarantee Yojana of MP, and Special Courts Act (Bihar) were discussed.

Chouhan said under the Lok Sewa Guarantee scheme, a fine of Rs 250 per day up to Rs 5,000 is imposed on the official who fails to deliver within 15 days. Two Appellate authorities have been appointed to monitor the progress.

Under the Special Courts Act, property of a corrupt official is seized.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa shared details of the Kisan budget he presented in his state and the benefits that would accrue from it to the farmers.

Gadkari had emphasised on good governance, transparency, credibility, efficiency and zero tolerance towards corruption in his speech on Monday.

In his presentation, Modi said increasing use of Information Technology had lessened corruption and improved accountability in Gujarat.

Additional inputs from PTI

Onkar Singh In Delhi