Rediff India Abroad
 Rediff India Abroad Home  |  All the sections


The Web

India Abroad

Sign up today!

Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Contact the editors
Discuss this article
Home > News > Report

Chintan baithak: BJP has election on mind

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | June 18, 2003 00:04 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party is in election mode -- just listen in on the buzz created by its 'chintan baithak' which got underway at Uttan in Thane district near Mumbai on Tuesday.

And if the BJP circles are buzzing, the party's allies and the opposition are all ears.

This could be the ruling party's biggest strategy meeting before the next general election, widely expected to be held earlier than the scheduled September, 2004.

No surprise then that the party has lined up its biggest guns -- Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (he arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday night), Deputy Prime Minister LalKishenchand Advani (he will join in on June 19 on his return from the UK), BJP chief Venkaiah Naidu and the party's media-savvy general secretary Pramod Mahajan.

Mahajan already has a label for the strategy that will be thrashed out at the meeting in the next three days. He calls it 'Mission 2004'.

Demystified, Mission 2004 translates thus -- 200 plus seats for the BJP, an absolute majority for the National Democratic Alliance.

According to sources, the BJP will go to the polls with a new agenda in 2004. This means Article 370, common civil code and Ayodhya will not be raised -- at least not officially.

After a people-friendly budget, after providing a stable government, after breaking the myth of non-Congress governments being non-starters, the party wants to go to the voters with a positive agenda.

Vajpayee, with his image of a statesman refurbished by his latest peace initiative with Pakistan, will be central to this agenda. The BJP believes that while Advanimay beits most popular leader, Vajpayee's appeal extends beyond the party.

However, after Venkaiah Naidu's 'vikas purush-loh purush' mess, the party will be very careful how it articulates the roles assigned to its two top leaders.

"We are looking for an agenda which can blend practical issues with an emotional issue.'Loh purush' Advani stands for our emotions, our nationalism and'vikas purush' Vajpayee stands for our practical and pragmatic standon the development of the nation," a senior BJP office-bearer said in New Delhi.

While drawing its plan for 'Mission 2004', the BJP will project Prime Minister Vajpayee as a statesman.

The four-day 'baithak' is being held at the sprawling Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini complex located in the sylvan surroundings of Uttan.

Mhalgi was a veteran Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader. The complex is run by four trusts belonging to the RSS.

Arrangements have been made to put up Vajpayee and five other VVIPs at the Vyaskul complex, while 20 other top leaders will be accommodated at the Eklavya complex.

Shabri dining hall will serve 'sada, saaf, suruchipurn' food, to quote a source.

There will be ample food for thought too.

Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 2

Sub: Good Going

It is a good sign that BJP is spending time trying to come up with strategy for 2004 election. That means all is well in ...

Posted by neal

Sub: BJP election on mind

Poor BJP. It was 300 Lok Sabha Seats they said they would get. Now they come down to 200 plus. Gradually it will be less ...

Posted by kavn



Copyright 2005 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.