I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2001.
I am confident that in the New Year India will rise to greater heights in every sphere of activity and move even faster in the path of all round development under the able leadership of our beloved Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. I am sure that in the New Year our Party will further expand its base and consolidate the gains that we made during the last year.
We Must Consolidate Our Gains
Last year, our call to the Minorities, Dalits, Adivasis, and OBCs -- the sections of our society that have hitherto been lukewarm towards us - has yielded remarkable results. We have been, to a large extent, able to successfully bridge the gap that existed between these sections and our Party. Our efforts to combat the false and vicious propaganda by our political opponents that separated these sections and us have been fruitful. We have been able to remove the longstanding misconceptions in their minds about us. The response of these sections to our call has been overwhelming. Those who were unwilling to listen to us in the past are today prepared to enter into a dialogue with us. Thousands of persons from these sections across the country have come closer to us. Several of them have joined the Party and are ready to actively work for its expansion and growth. This is a significant development. In the New Year we need to redouble our efforts to consolidate these gains. We need to take every measure to involve these sections in carrying out our programmes. Above all,We must generate amoung them a sense of belonging towards our party. I am confident that in the New Year we will make rapid progress towards realizing our goal of making our party the microcosm of Bharat. In these two days I want you to apply yourselves to designing appropriate programs and strategies to be carried out by our Karyakarthas at all levels.
The performance of the NDA Government ably led by our beloved Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has proved that BJP is a party of governance. Our government is in the process of implementing the National Agenda of Governance. Attempts were made to throw spanners in this process by raising the question of Ayodhya. They could not succeed. The Prime Minister has clearly spelt out the policy of the Government. In view of this I am confidante that our partners in the NDA will carry on the good work conforming to the Coalition Dharma to which we are committed
Prime Minister's Cease-fire Initiative
The Prime Minister's Cease Fire initiative has achieved initial success. It has inaugurated a new era in our continuing efforts to bring peace to Kashmir. The party fully stands by this initiative of the Prime Minister. The initiative has exposed the militant outfits that are perpetrating violence in the State and, their sponsor, Pakistan for what they indeed are - terrorists who have nothing but 'hate India' as their ideology. The incidents of violence by these forces only betray their panic at the success of the initiative. Their isolation from the local population, the resulting frustration prompts them to desperate attempts to subvert the initiative.
Apart from cross-border terrorism, fundamentalist terrorism is active throughout the country. Here our duty lies in being vigilant and in exposing their designs to disrupt the harmony in the society.
The government is pursuing economic reforms while adequately protecting the interests of the weaker sections of the society. The launch of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and Antyodaya Anna Yojana is a major initiative that proves the pro-village and pro-poor orientation of the Government. Here I wish to refer to the plight of the Small Industries and the farmers. I am sure that the government will take adequate measures to ensure that this vital section of the society is taken care of. The NDA agenda envisages a steady growth in agricultural production and to-day we are already facing the problem of storage and ware-housing. It is imperative that adequate attention is given to creating infrastructure for storing, exporting and using the foodsgrains for the hungry, the poor and the unemployed. I may also mention the unrestricted flow of cheap Chinese goods, which are being dumped in this country. I am sure that the government shares the concern with everybody else and adequate measures are being taken.
Situation in Assam
The situation in Assam is alarming and is deteriorating by the day. People in the state, especially the Hindi-speaking population, are living in constant fear of death. In the last two months, more than hundred people were killed by the militants. The government has failed miserably in discharging its fundamental duty of protecting the lives of the citizens. The militants in the state have a free run. The state government has proved its incapacity to arrest their activities. The state is crying for change. We give a pledge to the people of Assam. Our pledge is that we will restore peace to the state. And to give good governance to the people of the state. We have a duty in Assam. Our duty is to redeem our pledge. We must tighten our belts and make every effort to win the forthcoming Assembly elections to redeem our pledge.
The situation in the adjoining Manipur and Tripura is equally grave. Lawlessness is the order of the day. In Tripura the militants kidnapped five RSS workers sixteen months ago. The state Govt. has failed to rescue them.
The recent incidents of violence against the Indian Community in Nepal are a cause of grave concern. It is clear that this is a deliberate attempt to disrupt the harmonious relations between Bharat and Nepal. I suspect that this is a conspiracy to cause harm to the interests both Bharat and Nepal. I urge the Govt. of Nepal to take effective steps to protect the lives and property of the affected people and to investigate and expose the faces behind this trouble.
Forthcoming Elections to the State Assemblies
In these two days we have to apply our minds to the task of preparing the party organization to face the elections to the state Assemblies of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, West Bengal, and Assam. We have to analyze the political situation and put together effective strategies for these states. Where necessary, we have to begin the exercise of identifying potential allies. In the states that are going to polls we have immense opportunities to increase our strength substantially, and in some states we can even bid for power either on our own or along with our allies and friendly Parties. The morale of the party workers must to be kept high so that they could face the challenge effectively. From now onwards we have to redouble our efforts.
An era of change has already been ushered in. The performance of the Government led by Atalji has given rise to higher expectations by the people. The govt. and the party ought to meet these expectations with positive performance. Today, the priorities of the Nation are determined by the imperatives of good governance and development. That is our pledge to the people, which has to be redeemed. Let, us, therefore, rise above controversies and contentions. Let us build up a consensus and dedicate the next ten years for total development as envisaged by the Prime Minister. Let the party be the true arbiter of the people's causes. Let us work for taking the fruits of the governance and development to the people. Let us involve the people in the process of development and change. Party activism should help us identify the ills and sore spots and bring succor to the needy. An activist party instrument serves as an expression both of the popular will and popular participation. I extend my warm good wishes and active support to all of you in this lofty mission.