BJP : NEWS REPORTS
National Executive Meeting December 23-24, 2002 [Parliament Annexe, New Delhi]
BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY National Executive Meeting Parliament Annexe, New Delhi
December 24. 12. 2002
The National Executive of the Bharatiya Janata Party is meeting at a time which is crucial to India's polity.
The NDA Government led by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has completed more than 4-1/2 years of governance. It is poised to become the first non-Congress government to complete its full tenure in New Delhi. The NDA Government has launched a series of path breaking measures to put India on to the road of development and becoming a major economic force.
The NDA as an alliance of political parties to run the government at New Delhi, has conclusively established its commitment to the agenda of the NDA and its ability to work smoothly and demolish the myth that alliances in India cannot run stable governments. The National Executive is meeting immediately after the elections to the Gujarat State Assembly where the Bharatiya Janata Party has won the third election in a row. The Gujarat elections are not an ordinary political victory. The politics of Gujarat attracted attention not only nationally but globally. A campaign of falsehood was unleashed against the BJP's State Government in an attempt to defame our ideology, governance and leadership. What had happened at the Godhra railway station on 27th of February, 2002 was unprecedented and inhuman. It unleashed highly condemnable violence in the State in which several innocents lost their lives. Even though the machinery of the State was fully geared up to deal with unprecedented situations, our critics wanted to use this as a campaign of calumny against the Bharatiya Janata Party and its leadership. The election in Gujarat thus divided the State on ideological lines. The election was considered a trial for the cultural nationalism of the BJP and our commitment to eliminate terrorism, a menace which threatens our national sovereignty. Our opponents considered terrorism as a virtual non-issue. The people of Gujarat endorsed our commitment to cultural nationalism and voted us back for a third time in a row. Gujarat witnessed an unprecedented pro-incumbency wave.
The election results of Gujarat have stunned our opponents. A campaign has now been launched whether Gujarat would be repeated elsewhere. Let our critics remember that the BJP stands for the protection of each and every Indian and his right to religious freedom. We are committed against terror; we condemn what happened in Godhra and thereafter. We shall not tolerate incidents which took place at Akshardham. We are confident that the Gujarat election will prove to be a turning point in India's history and the ideology of cultural nationalism propagated by the BJP will find wide scale acceptability all over the country. The Bharatiya Janata Party thanks the people of Gujarat for endorsing our ideological positions.
The other significant achievement of the recent period has been the success of the NDA government in preparing the nation in combating terrorism. We have isolated Pakistan's ideology of using terrorism as an instrument of State policy. The world today abhors that policy. Pakistan is on the back foot. Our national security systems and our intelligence grid have improved in their efficiency to counter terrorist activities. Most importantly, the people of Jammu & Kashmir have been alienated from the terrorists inasmuch as they defeated terror and fear and turned up in large numbers to vote in the J&K elections. The successful holding of free and fair elections in Jammu & Kashmir has re-established the credentials of the vibrant Indian democracy. The J&K election was a victory of Indian democracy over Pakistani terror. The elections threw up a hung verdict and by a post election adjustment, the PDP and the Congress have joined in coalition to form a government. It is regrettable that the Congress has compromised on the PDP agenda which has started going soft on terror. The coalition government has decided to merge with the local police, the Special Operation Group, a police force which is a professionally trained organisation to fight terrorism. Without undertaking a comprehensive review on the merits of any case, they have decided to release certain terrorists. The releases appear more to be an act of political reciprocity rather than a means to achieve peace. The decision of the Congress not to implement POTA in Congress ruled States is a mockery of Indian federalism. It is unprecedented that the laws framed by the Centre in exercise of its constitutional jurisdiction are not respected by a State. This precedent if allowed to go unchecked can prove dangerous both for our democracy and federalism. If there is one State in the country which needs active enforcement of POTA, it is Jammu & Kashmir. Why must any political party want to go soft on terror is a question which baffles the whole country. The Congress owes an explanation for this.
The BJP urges both the Central Government and the State Government of Jammu & Kashmir to implement the proposal for creation of Regional Development Councils for the different regions of Kashmir.
The latest attack on the Ragunath Temple, the beheading of women for failure to abide by a dress code and the killing of a PDP MLA has established that terrorism spares none -- not the innocent, not its opponents and not even those who are soft on terror.
The BJP expresses serious concern over the increase in the activities of Naxal extremism in several parts of the country. These terror tactics are identical to those used by those indulging in cross border terrorism. The BJP welcomes the recent initiatives to negotiate a larger settlement with some underground groups in the North East. Peace in North East is the need of the hour. These recent initiatives will go a long way in restoring peace. The BJP urges the Central Government to seriously consider the repeal of the IMDT Act.
The BJP expresses concern over the aberrations in the Human Rights movement in India. These have been noticed in the context of the 13th December, 2001 attack on the Parliament House. Human Rights are essential for Democracy and liberty. Their essence lies in the fundamental rights and the Rule of Law. Traditionally the Human Rights movement was aimed at protecting the rights of a Citizen against the oppressive power of the state. Currently the real threat to Human Rights is not from the state but from Private Terror Groups. The rights of a Civil Society have to be protected from these terror groups. Regrettably many Human Right NGO's have decided to side with these terror groups from whom the real threat of terror comes.
The last 4-1/2 years of the NDA government has been an era of reform and development. The Indian economy today has transformed from shortages to surpluses. The infrastructure such as Highways, rural roads, telecommunications, ports, transportations etc. have been growing at a rapid pace. Power sector reforms are finally becoming to see the light of the day. Even in the phase of de-acceleration of global economy, India has managed respectable rates of growth. With the approval of the Tenth Five Year Plan, the BJP welcomes the target fixed by the Government for a 8% GDP growth.
The BJP is of the opinion that the Economic Agenda of the NDA government is the best course to accelerate growth rates and bring down poverty figures in the country. The BJP is firmly committed to this agenda.
The conspiracy of our opponents to create a rift in the NDA has been foiled repeatedly. The NDA stands together like a rock. Their efforts to raise ideological issues to split the NDA have not worked. The phoney issue of the so-called saffronization of the history books has been exposed by the rebuff that our opponents got from the Supreme Court. Let alone any ally of NDA leaving us, others have shown interest in joining us. The BJP welcomes the setting up of a separate Scheduled Tribe Commission.
As against this, our opponents are in shambles. Be it Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat, our opponents are pulling in different directions. The Congress Governments have a miserable performance. While the J&K Government has decided to go soft on terror, the Rajasthan Government is unable to fight hunger and starvation deaths in an age of food surplage. The incompetence of the Rajasthan Government to handle the situation in the State has created a huge anti-incumbency which was responsible for its defeat in all the three bye-elections in the State recently. Bihar and Madhya Pradesh are icons of non-development. The Maharashtra Government is a glaring example of in-fighting. The Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra Governments have failed to prevent starvation deaths. The Karnataka Government, unable to deal with a bandit, is cracking up under a crisis of confidence. The irresponsible political behaviour of the Chhattisgarh and Punjab Chief Ministers in courting arrest outside the Prime Ministers residence have demeaned the dignity of their office. The West Bengal Government has retarded the growth of the State. The West Bengal Government is unprepared to cope with the Al- Qaeda threats which have shifted base to Bangladesh. All border states in the East require to be prepared to check infiltration from Bangladesh.
The NDA government on the contrary is endeavouring to concentrate on governance and reform. Major Social and Economic initiatives are aimed at making India a global Economic Power. The recent decision to Integrate Rivers in India is a Historic Initiative. The Freedom of Information Bill will bring about unprecedented Transparency into the government's functioning and raise the level of probity in public life. The recently concluded session of Parliament will go down as historic for a series of economic legislations undertaken in the country. The Prime Minister's announcement in giving interest relief to farmers affected by drought will go a long way in diluting their difficulties.
It is at this stage that the Bharatiya Janata Party enters the new year with a renewed sense of confidence. The year 2003 is a year of State Assembly elections. We shall wrest back from our opponents each State held by them.
Our roadmap for the future is clear, Cultural Nationalism, Economic Liberalism and Development, Good Governance and the Highest Standards of Probity.