National Executive Meeting Indore (Madhya Pradesh) : April 04-5, 2003
Resolution on the completion of five years of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Prime Ministership
National Executive Meeting, Indore - April 4-5, 2003
India's democracy crossed a historic milestone when Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee completed five years as India's Prime Minister on March 19, 2003. He is the first non-Congress Prime Minister to accomplish this feat. Indeed, of the 13 Prime ministers that India has had so far, only two others - Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi - have served longer tenures. The National Executive warmly felicitates our beloved leader Shri Atalji on this accomplishment and records its deepest gratitude to him for the visionary leadership he has provided to the Nation and to our Party.
Shri Atalji's success is especially remarkable because he has led a large coalition of parties with diverse backgrounds and ideologies. Under his astute leadership, the National Democratic Alliance has disproved the self-serving myth propagated by the Congress party that coalition rule at the Centre is a prescription for instability and that it alone can provide stable governance.
The National Executive deems it to be its duty to records its greatest appreciation of the contribution of every constituent of the NDA, for this collective achievement. We also thank the Telugu Desam Party for its contribution to this achievement. Unflinching commitment to the supremacy of national interests and faithful adherence to our common manifesto have enabled the NDA to successfully face all kinds of challenges (Sanctions, Supercyclone, Kargil War, Gujarat Earthquake and drought) during the past five years. Today our alliance is stronger and more cohesive than ever before. Atalji's tenure is an era of statesmanship, stability and development. It marks the evoluation of India as a global force, as an economic power, a crucial diplomatic player and a nuclear power.
Game of destabilisation defeated
For the Bharatiya Janata Party, especially, this is an occasion of immense satisfaction and pride. In the completion of five years of the NDA Government lies the proof of our having redeemed our pledge to the people of India. The BJP had promised stable governance with able leadership, and that is what we have delivered. Under the leadership of Shri Atalji and Shri Advaniji, the BJP has converted the compulsion of coalition governance in 1998 into a model of stable and purposive governance today and for the years ahead.
A quick flashback would show the difficult road our Party has traversed. A debilitating instability had gripped the Nation in the latter half of the Nineties. The Congress was voted out of power in May 1996 and, for the first time, the people of India made the BJP the largest party in the 11th Lok Sabha. Clearly, the mandate was against the Congress and for a BJP-led government. However, a defeated and discredited Congress party started its game of destabilization, effecting the first of its four infamous moves in 1996 itself. Shri Vajpayee's first tenure as Prime Minister lasted only 13 days, because the Congress made a mockery of the people's mandate by usurping it to perpetuate its own rule through proxy.
After pledging "unconditional" outside support "for full five years", the Congress party destabilized two United Front governments in less than two years - and that too on patently flimsy grounds. In hindsight, it shows the contrast between the Congress party's contempt for coalition politics and the BJP's principled commitment to it. Congress leaders pulled down the UF governments under the calculation that power would naturally be theirs after the premature elections to the 12th Lok Sabha. In reality, the electorate handed a worse defeat to the Congress than in 1996 and gave an unambiguous mandate to a government led by Shri Vajpayee. Even this bitter experience did not inculcate in the power-hungry Congress the habit of destabilization. It plotted to pull down the NDA Government in April 1999, forcing yet another mid-term election on the Nation. The outcome, again, was no different: the Congress fared worse than before, the BJP did better than before and Shri Atalji began his third term as Prime Minister, with a clearer and stronger mandate than before.
BJP is defining the main trends in Indian politics
These are not ordinary developments, nor are they accidental. They point to three important trends underpinning contemporary Indian politics. First, the Congress party has entered a phase of terminal decline. Second, the period between 1998 and 2003 marks the confident rise of the BJP as the principal pole in Indian politics. Today, BJP is the only party that has demonstrated its capability to win the trust and support of smaller and regional parties, which have come to play a major role in national politics. Third, the main reason why this shift has taken place is that the Congress has failed, and the BJP has done well in the tests of nationalism, governance and leadership.
Never in its 118-year-long history, and certainly not in its post-Independence history, has the Congress party been more ideologically adrift, organizationally enfeebled and uncertain about its present and future leadership. In each of these four episodes of destabilization, the Congress employed a single bogey - namely, that the "communal" BJP's ascent to power has endangered India's secularism and posed a grave threat to the minorities. Both in tone and logic, this was no different from the Muslim League's self-serving propaganda against the Congress in the pre-Partition years. With the Communists as its ideological cheerleaders, the Congress has sought to isolate the BJP in Indian politics on the plank of "pseudo-secularism". But after each dabbling in destabilization, it is the Congress that has got isolated more and more from the people.
Strangely, the Congress leadership has still not learnt the right lessons from its defeats. On more than one occasion, its blind anti-BJPism, coupled with its habitual reliance on vote-bank politics, has led the Congress to take positions that are detrimental to our national security. This was evident from its criticism of Pokharan-II, its stand during the Kargil War, its hypocritical opposition to POTA, and its continued opportunism on the Ayodhya issue.
NDA Government's proud achievements and initiatives
In contrast, the past five years have seen the BJP ensconced not only as the principal national and nationalist party, but also as a party of effective governance. Any objective balance sheet of the past five years would show how Shri Atalji's Government has used stability to strengthen the four main pillars of nation building - namely, national security, economic growth, social development, and democracy. Many of its initiatives and achievements in these four areas are unprecedented and of historic significance.
Tasks before the Government and the Party
Thus, the NDA Government's completion of five years in office is an occasion to rejoice for the BJP. At the same time, for both the Government and the Party, it is also an occasion to look at the tasks ahead. We are not a Party given to resting on our past laurels. Time and again, we have demonstrated that we neither despair in defeat, nor become complacent and conceited in the hour of success. As enjoined by our Poet-Prime Minister, we have to continue marching on Kartavya Path -- the Path of Duty toward our country and our people.
The National Executive urges the Government to attend to the following immediate tasks:
1: The massacre of 24 Kashmiri Pandits in Nandimarg in Jammu & Kashmir, preceded by similar acts of jehadi terrorists in Jammu region recent years, is a grave and intolerable development. It prompts the National Executive to reach three conclusions: (a) The Government must now act in a manner that shows that Pakistan has paid a price for its continued sponsorship of cross-border terrorism; (b) The United States has not been able to rein in Pakistan; (c) The PDP-Congress coalition government in J&K must stop its laxity towards terrorist and anti-India elements.
2: The National Executive commends the Finance Minister for crafting a growth-oriented Budget. It has many imaginative ideas and initiatives, which are crystallized in what he has rightly called the Paanch Priorities. We urge the Government to implement them with alacrity. In particular, urgent action should begin on the bouquet of infrastructure projects, which together have an investment outlay of Rs. 60,000 Crore, including on the mega project of inter-linking of rivers.
3: While the Budget has done the right thing by expanding the scope of the Antyodaya Anna Yojana to cover 50 lakh additional very poor families, the National Executive feels that there is still a big scope - and, of course, the obvious need - for its further expansion. Specifically, making full use of the surplus stock of foodgrains, the Government should (a) provide free foodgrains to destitutes; (b) expand the scope of mid-day meal schemes and meal-for-the-poor programmes run by voluntary and religious organizations; (c) larger food-for-work programmes in the poorest and least developed districts in the country; and (d) ensure better monitoring of the Antyodaya Anna Yojana, as part of the improved functioning of the PDS.
4: While the Government efforts to generate over one Crore jobs annually deserves to be complemented, National Executive feels that there is an urgent need to launch stronger and more comprehensive initiatives to create one and half Crore employment and self-employment opportunities each year. The report of the S.P. Gupta Committee, constituted by the Planning Commission, has made many sound recommendations. The Government should set up an appropriate body to implement these recommendations.
5: The Women's Reservation Bill should be passed without any further delay.
6: As promised by the Prime Minister, necessary steps should be initiated to introduce, in the current session of Parliament, a Constitutional Amendment for devolving effective financial and administrative powers on Panchayati Raj Institutions.
7. The Union Home Ministry is taking strong steps to detect & send back the Bangladesh infiltrators. The National Executive wants the Union Government to take necessary steps to repeal the Illegal Migrant Detection ....... ...Act which has proved to be deterimental in throwing out illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
The National Executive outlines the following immediate tasks before the Party:
1: Winning in all the four States that will go to Assembly polls later this year - Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi - is foremost priority. The Party must also gear up for the Assembly polls in the other states early next year, with a resolve to record winning performances everywhere. The political situation is highly conducive to the BJP in all these States. What is needed is to fully gear up our organization to meet the challenge and seize the opportunity.
2: Our State units should intensify their mass campaigns in States ruled by the Congress and other Opposition parties, highlighting the misrule and non-performance of their governments.
3: Continuous expansion of the Party's support base in newer geographical and social spaces, accompanied by consolidation in our traditional strongholds, was the clarion call that the National Executive gave way back in June 1996 at its meeting in Bhopal. The Bhopal meeting, which was held in the immediate aftermath of Shri Atalji's 13-day government, had also directed the Party to continue to strengthen its efforts at alliance-building. The spectacular progress that the BJP has made since then is principally because of our successful efforts in this direction. Yet, we must realize that we have not reached out to all sections of our diverse society and to all regions of our vast country. Therefore, our Party units must continue to exert themselves in this direction.