The BJP has reached its present strength as a result of our collective efforts. We have seen many joys which have been preceded by many a tears, sweat and at times even blood of our cadres. We have entered a crucial stage of our journey. Our acceptability has improved - it will improve further. This is because we are different and we speak a language which strikes a card with the people. We must endeavour to maintain our distinctiveness as a party. Our political behaviour will determine this.
The crucial question we face is `what after this political success?' We are in power in the Centre and several States. We have to concentrate on improving the quality of governance. The governance must concentrate on serving the people and keeping national interests paramount.
Our success has resulted in our opponents adopting an unpredictable behaviour. We have also been in opposition for a very long time, but we have never stooped so low. The kind and quality of the language used by some leaders on the issue of Constitution review has acquired a new low. But we must maintain a dignified posture. We must endeavour to raise the level of debate on this issue. The debate must be constitutional and not provocative as some opposition leaders are indulging in.
The Congress has adopted political negativism from Pokharan to Kargil. What the Congress party delegation told President Clinton was misinformed to the nation. The Congress party delegation told President Clinton that India needed a minimum nuclear deterrent. The Congress spokesman informed the media of this. Later the party denied having ever said this. Petty political considerations resulted in this political somersault.
But we should not allow ourselves to be bogged down by these unnecessary controversies. We have to look ahead and deliver results to the people and the nation. This is a joint responsibility of all NDA partners. All the NDA allies have a very co-operative attitude. I am getting the best of co-operation from our allies. We must be very careful about all our statements to the press. We must resist the temptation of speaking out too frequently. I have read some report on cricket betting. The Government has no proposal to legalise betting. We are all for eliminating this menace.
All functionaries in the Government and the party must be particularly careful and sensitive when we speak on issues relating to the minorities.
We must ensure that the programmes get the support of the party and we endeavour to carry all sections of the society with us in this task which we have undertaken.