BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY
NATIIONAL EXECUTIVE MEETING
7-9 SEPTEMBER, 2006
POINTS MADE BY SHRI L.K. ADVANI, LEADER OF OPPOSITION, LOK SABHA
IN HIS ADDRESS TO THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE OF THE B.J.P. HELD AT DEHRADUN ON 8.9.2006
The National Executive of the BJP commenced this time on 7the September. This has turned out to be a significant date. Some time back an all party National Committee headed by the Prime Minister decided to celebrate this day as the centenary day of VANDE MATRAM.
Television viewers saw yesterday many inspiring scenes from all parts of the country showing people enthusiastically singing this National Song.
However, the nation also noted the conspicuous absence of Congress President and the Prime Minister from these Vande Matram programmes.
It just shows how the Congress party and its govt. simply wilted under a completely baseless – indeed, dangerous – assault on the national song. Those who cannot with conviction defend the sacred legacy of our national movement are unfit to be India's rulers.
Two important successes
Friends, the BJP's spirited protest – both inside and outside Parliament has won two important victories for India's democracy and India's national security in recent months.
2. One was our stand on the issue of Office of Profit.
Now everybody knows that this issue snowballed into a major crisis solely because of the Congress party's vindictiveness and, when it saw that its politics of vendetta was about to boomerang on its leader, its ugly effort to subvert the norms of parliamentary democracy.
The sine-die closing down of parliament in the budget session and its reconvening just to pass a hastily – and badly – drafted bill on office of Profit have no precedent in India's parliamentary history.
In between, in order to escape from a crisis of its own making, the Congress party even staged yet another act of the drama about its leader's "sacrifice".
The BJP played the role of a constructive opposition by advising the government not to rush through with a flawed bill and, instead, to bring in a comprehensive Constitution amendment.
But the Congress leaders didn't listen.
It was obvious to all that the Act was likely to be struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.
It goes to the credit of Mahamahim Rashtrapati that he returned the Bill without signing it.
The government averted a bigger crisis only by finally doing what the BJP had earlier advised. It has announced setting up of a joint parliamentary committee to consider the comprehensive points made by the President in his advice to the government.
3. The second point on which out strong and uncompromising stand yielded the desired result was the Indo-US nuclear agreement.
As days passed, it became increasingly clear that the government's stand was untenable and that, left to itself, the government would gravely compromise India's strategic security interests by surrendering to the diktat of the United States.
The government doggedly refused a debate in Parliament.
We, along with several other parties pressed our demand for a parliamentary debate equally persistently.
Here I must make a special mention of the contribution of India's eminent nuclear scientists.
Their statement, on the eve of the debate in Parliament, shed crucial light on how the government was going to surrender our sovereignty on nuclear security.
In the end, parliament witnessed one of the finest debates on an issue of national security.
The Prime Minister was forced to make a detailed statement, which is a substantial comedown from the government's earlier stand on the matter. He was also forced to address many of the concerns by the BJP and the nuclear scientists.
Here I would also like to make a special mention, in particular, of two of our esteemed MPs – Shri Yashwant Sinha and Shri Arun Shourie. Shri Shourie's three articles in the Indian Express are quite simply the best political writing on this issue.
I hope our party will soon bring out a booklet containing his articles, along with other useful material on the Indo-US nuclear deal, and widely circulate it – in different languages – to our own workers and to the people at large.
Of course, I must add here that we should continue to be vigilant on this issue. As you know, the legislative process in the US on this matter is not yet over. We should keep a close watch on what happens in the coming months. In no case shall we sit quiet if the ultimate deal in anyway compromises India's sovereignty or our strategic defense interests.
An unenviable record
The UPA Government has been in office for the past 2 ½ years. I do not recall any other Government in the past having invited in such a short time so many severe admonitions from the country's highest judiciary as this Government has done.
Shortly after assuming office this Government announced reservations on religious grounds, first in Andhra government and later in the Aligarh Muslim University. Both the decisions were struck down by the Court.
The constitutionality of the IMDT Act relating to Assam have been challenged, and the matter had been pending before the Supreme Court since quite some time. The NDA Government had supported AASU's contention before Court that the Act was ultra vires. After coming to power, the UPA Government changed the official stand and contended before the Court that the Act was valid.
The Supreme Court not only struck down this law as invalid, but actually accused the Government of India with failure to protect the nation's security by having a law which actually facilitated illegal immigration.
The Supreme Court administered an even more severe reprimand to the UPA Government when it struck down its decision to impose President's rule in Bihar under Article 356.
Again, the Courts have repeatedly had to intervene in the Government of India's mismanagement of the affairs of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.