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The BJP turns 25
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] to give up his 'soft' approach to terror.
Addressing a press conference after the inauguration of the three-day party national executive, BJP spokesman Arun Jaitley said, "Now that even United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi [Images] is stated to have received terrorist threats, it is time that the prime minister changed his stand against terror."
He said, "If the reports are correct, then it is a matter of serious concern; let it be en eye-opener for the Indian prime minister whose actions do not reflect an adequate policy to deal with terror."
Jaitley was at pains clarifying that the widespread allegations about an underhand BJP-Samajwadi Party deal were baseless. He was replying to a barrage of queries related to undue favours being extended to the BJP leaders by chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav [Images], a sworn BJP adversary.
While he described the declaration of 26 BJP leaders as 'state guests' by Mulayam as a matter of 'routine courtesy by a government', he was at his wit's end when a scribe drew his attention to Mulayam's earlier gesture to save BJP stalwart L K Advani [Images] in the Ayodhya mosque demolition case.
Jaitley hastily concluded the press conference ,no sooner than he was reminded that Mulayam had earlier too obliged Advani by ignoring an advise of the High Court to issue a fresh government notification for revival of criminal proceedings against the former BJP chief in the Babri Mosque demolition case .
Back in February 2002, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court had dropped the criminal proceedings against Advani and several other BJP bigwigs because of a technical flaw in the notification issued for the constitution of a special trial court. However, the Court gave an option to revive the proceedings through issue of fresh notification.
Asked if construction of the Ayodhya temple was on the party national executive agenda, he quipped, "Well, the temple has never been on our political agenda, but yes it is a national issue."
He added hastily, "Wait for another day."
Earlier, BJP leaders devoted the opening day of the meet to discussing the party's preparedness for the forthcoming assembly elections in four states, including Uttar Pradesh [Images]. The other states that got to poll early next year were Punjab, Uttaranchal and Manipur.
Singh was stated to have been critical of not only UPA's management of the economy, but also its foreign policy, handling of terrorism as also certain socio-political issues. He blamed the ruling party at the center for suicide by farmers, which he attributed to a 'faulty SEZ policy'.
He said, "We are not against creation of special economic zones but these should be created on barren wasteland and not by usurping rich agricultural land from farmers."
Disapproving the Indo-US nuclear deal, as well as the foreign policy, he termed it as a 'compromise'.
Blaming the UPA government for price-rise on all fronts, he said, "High taxation was responsible for increased inflation, that had adversely affected the lives common people."
Terming Mulayam's regime as 'anarchy', he said, "UP had turned into a hot-bed of crime and corruption, totally devoid of law and order."
He went on to add, "Imposition of President's rule was the only course to ensure free and fair polls in this state."
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