BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY
National Council Meeting
23 & 24 December 2006
Lucknow : December 23, 2006
Presidential Address By Shri Rajnath Singh
We have all assembled in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, to attend the meeting of the party's National Council. We will be deliberating on contemporary issues including the current political, economic and social situation in the country. You had endorsed my appointment as a nominated President of the party early this year on January 20, 2006 in Delhi. Today, as the year comes to a close, you have ratified my election as President here in Lucknow. Friends, the President of the party is first and the foremost a worker, irrespective of whether he is elected or nominated. I pray to the Almighty to keep alive the spirit of a worker in my mind throughout my life. It is a sheer coincidence that the first session of the BJP, in its earlier avatar as the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, too was held on October 21, 1951 at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. It is a happier coincidence that the nation's tallest leader Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was a witness to that occasion, is in our midst today. We all feel honoured by his presence.
Uttar Pradesh is the axis on which India's politics rotates. The state not only elects the largest number of Members of Parliament but also has been the cradle of great movements including the nation's freedom struggle and the Ram Janambhoomi movement. Blessed with places of pilgrimage like Ayodhya, Kashi, Mathura and Prayag, this sacred land has also been the birthplace and arena of action (Karma Sthali) of our ideological fountainhead Mahamanav Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. Former Prime Minister and 'Rashtrapurush' Shri Atalji might have been born in Gwalior, but his ancestral village Bateshwar, which is near Agra, is in Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh has been my arena of action also. I too was born and brought up on this very soil. I too had grown immensely fond of Lucknow over the years both as President of the Uttar Pradesh BJP and as Chief Minister of the state. I extend my heartiest greetings to the workers of Mother India who have assembled on this divine soil from across the country.
The challenging responsibility you have entrusted on me proves beyond doubt that in BJP, even the most ordinary worker can be called upon to take up highest responsibility. My first priority would be to live upto your expectations and win the confidence of the people working shoulder-to shoulder with you. We will all make collective efforts to achieve success and credit for the same would belong to all of us. Our mutual trust should be strengthened so much that the party re-writes history by winning the confidence of the masses. I am confident that the trust of the people would convert into a mandate and then to a majority and in the coming days once again we would be entrusted with the ennobling task of writing the nation's history.
As for success, the journey has begun with the local bodies election in Uttar Pradesh. Our opponents, who had written us off the state's electoral reckoning, had to eat their words. Our victory in 8 out of the 12 Municipal Corporations has boosted the morale of our cadres not only in Uttar Pradesh but also across the country. I congratulate Uttar Pradesh 'Prabhari' former Chief Minister Shri Kalyan Singh, state BJP President Sh Kesrinath Tripathi, the office-bearers of the state unit, party workers and the people of the state for this success. This is a victory of our organizational unity.
This unity will further strengthen and move forward with greater enthusiasm and show such results in the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Punjab and Manipur which would not only change the face of these states but also have far reaching impact on national politics.
The State of the Nation
Friends, India is passing through a critical phase of instability and anarchy. The wrong policies being pursued by the UPA Government has not only resulted in political, social and economic problems but also pose a threat to the nation's security, sovereignty, unity and integrity. If the UPA Government continues to move forward in this direction, it would become very difficult to save the nation from yet another partition.
Today, the situation has come to such a pass that the terrorists are safe but the common man in sitting on a landmine. Instead of finding ways and means to protect the common man, the Government appears to be more keen to save terrorists convicted for conspiring against the nation. While Jehadi terrorism has firmed its grip from Ayodhya and Kashi to Delhi, Mumbai, Srinagar and Bangalore, the growing naxalite terrorism has spread its tentacles from Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa to Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Having miserably failed on all fronts, the UPA Government is succumbing to minority appeasement and abject surrender before the Left parties just for the sake of remaining in power. The Leftists are forcing the Government to compromise on national interests in the pursuit of its narrow political interests and under the garb of its irrelevant ideology. We will have to seriously ponder over this situation.
Bharat Nirman, This?
UPA Government claims that it wants to build India. I fail to comprehend what kind of India they are building when the people are living under the shadow of terror, the youth are desperate for jobs and disgusted farmers are committing suicide. Even if the UPA Government believes that it understands what it means by 'Bharat Nirman', the common man does not.
Garibi Hatao Slogan: An Illusion
Even after 59 years of independence, the country is faced with the challenges of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. Even today, over 28 per cent of the country's population lives below the poverty line. The economic disparity is constantly widening owing to imbalanced development. The Congress party had given the slogan of 'Garibi Hatao' 35 years back. Despite their governing the country for 24-25 years out of these 35 years, poverty remains a serious issue. Today, a fresh attempt is being made by the Congress party to revive its fortunes by raising this slogan. For Congress, 'Garibi Hatao' was a mere slogan then and now, which is being used to keep the people of this country under an illusion.
Neglect of Workers Interests
The Congress-led coalition supported by the Left parties have proved to be totally incompetent in protecting the interests of the working class. The interest rates of Employees Provident Fund are being slashed. On the one hand, the Leftists organize strikes through their affiliated trade unions across the country but on the other, allow such anti-worker policies to be passed in Parliament. The true colours of the Congress and Left parties on the issue of workers' interest have been exposed. It has become the habit and nature of the Left parties to let the Government run by supporting the Budget in Parliament and raise a hue and cry over its provisions outside the Parliament.
Serious Unemployment Scenario
Unemployment is one of the serious problems before the nation. The unemployment statistics are shocking and indicate to a dreadful future. Today, unemployment is growing at the rate of 10 per cent. According to an estimate, there would be about 21 crore unemployed youth in the country by 2020 and the rate of unemployment could go as high as 30 per cent. Today, we have 40 per cent educated unemployed and 17.2 per cent unemployed graduates. The UPA is paying least attention towards this.
The Government has started a rural employment guarantee scheme for the unemployed, which is nothing short of an eyewash. This scheme provides merely for 100 days of employment. What will the unemployed youth do in the remaining days? What will happen to the urban unemployed? The Government does not have answers to these questions. Most of the schemes initiated by the NDA Government to provide employment to youth have either been shelved or slowed down.
Inflation has gone up by 19 per cent in the last one year alone as against the per capita income which has risen only by six per cent. The current rate of inflation has broken all records since Independence. In the last two years, wheat flour price has witnessed a 35 per cent increase, pulses and grams 55 per cent and edible oil 25 per cent. The common man is finding it difficult to arrange for even two square meals a day under the UPA regime. Prices are rising by leaps and bounds but the income of the citizen is not growing proportionately. Recently, industry chamber ASSOCHAM's Eco Pulse in its study has pointed to the growing disparity between per capita income and rising food prices.
I keep insisting on the need to study why prices increase when the Congress is in office. I believe that the Congress keeping the common man's interests at the bottom of its agenda is clearly responsible for this situation. The ever-increasing prices have impacted the basic necessities of the common man and has severely affected his lifestyle. The people are beginning to raise their voice and are determined to throw out this Government. Because this is the only solution to get rid of the problem. The BJP has carried out a strong protest movement against inflation in the last 2-2.5 years, but all this have fallen on the deaf ears of the UPA Government.
The Shameful Phase of Farmer Suicides
Suicide by farmers is fast becoming an ordinary incident under the UPA Government. Inspite of the Prime Minister announcing a package, the problem is not abating. Rather, they are on the rise. This is happening because the package announced by the Prime Minister is only an illusion on the basis of old schemes. The situation in Vidarbha region is a matter of serious concern. Our party's Maharashtra unit has met the Hon'ble President of India and apprised him about the condition of farmers there. I myself had gone along with the party leaders in Maharashtra to meet the affected farmers. We are not doing any politics on this issue but only asking a natural question on behalf of the farmers to the country's rulers after experiencing the pain of an average seven farmers committing suicide everyday. Being a farmer's son myself, I can feel that pain with utmost sensitivity. Today, mismanagement of irrigation, absence of technological and business training and uncertainty of income have put question marks on the future of farmers. Such problems are getting complicated in states such as Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. While on the one hand, farmers are committing suicide owing to the problems caused by poor irrigation facilities, on the other, the river inter-linking project, which provides a comprehensive solution to the country's irrigation problems, has been put in the cold storage merely because it was conceived by the NDA Government. Today, the country has to import foodgrains. The import of foodgrains and the plight of farmers remind us of the India of the 60s.
The National Commission for Farmers was constituted during the NDA Government to take a comprehensive look at the problems faced by the farmers and to come out with holistic solutions for the same. The Commission has submitted its report to the Prime Minister and it contains many useful suggestions in the interests of the farmers. I myself had personally written to the Prime Minister requesting him to call an all party meeting to consider the Report of the Commission and its recommendations and unanimously and expeditiously implement policies in the interests of the farmers. The important reason for Kisan Suicide is the bank loan. He can not repay in case of natural calamity. It is a twin pain of not having the crop and a burden of unpaid loan, takes him to suicide. often he has to resort to private borrowings. The rates of interests are high and he has to accept. The over dues grow by the day. Government must consider all these aspects. Government must ensure necessary credit at reasonable rate. But so far, the Central Government has not taken any initiative in this regard. It is a glaring example of the indifferent attitude of the UPA Government towards the problems faced by the farmers.
UPA's Failure on Economic Front
The golden Quadrilateral scheme is not being implemented with the spirit with which NDA conceived and implemented it. It is the lifeline of Economic growth, which was taken to the nook and corner of the country by the NDA. The Stock Market has become the symbol of growth, which is manipulated by FIIS, which are flush with funds.
The foreign institutional investment is in the region of 50 b$ while we have forex reserves of 170 b$. Government seems to have clueless for its optimum utilization. The buoyancy in the capital market is not reflection of retail investor participation.
The uneven dispersal of income has resulted in widening of gap between the rich and the poor. Poor is becoming poorer.
Power is an important economic tool, which has seen no cognisable progress. The future of economic growth heavily relies on progress on power front.
Last two years have witnessed upheaval in share market, where Sensex has zoomed 1000 points up and down. This volatility has reduced the confidence of small investor and that of industry. Government must keep close watch on the inflows through PN route.
Failure of UPA government fiscal policies in checking the money laundering by anti-national forces is jeopardising the national security. It is not that there is no Law, which can prevent this but lack of political will on the part of UPA government is the basic cause of this malady. Government is also clueless about acting tough against private money lenders, who are ruining the rural economy.
People are not assured of daily necessities under UPA dispensation. Owning a house has become a distant dream for the common man. UPA is responsible for making dwelling out of his reach.
NDA successfully brought down the housing loan interest rates to the level 7-8 %, which has risen to 12.75% in UPA regime. UPA policies have impacted living standard of common man adversely.
Misuse of the SEZ Policy
The UPA Government is constantly formulating policies that create manifold problems for the farmers. The problems faced by the farmers have aggravated over the manner in which land is being acquired for the purpose of setting up Special Economic Zones. We are not against SEZs. Rather, we honestly acknowledge that it was the NDA Government which gave shape to the concept of SEZs. Our concept was to create SEZs in different parts of the country to boost exports and to utilize non-agricultural land for the same as far as possible. But the UPA Government has totally changed this concept. The issue of exports has gone missing and valuable productive land is being snatched and acquired from the farmers without giving them proper compensation.
Now even the Leftists have joined this race. The suppression of farmers in Singur in West Bengal recently has exposed the capitalist face of the Communists. Some time back, an article in the CPI (M) organ 'People's Democracy' had criticised the UPA Government stating that the Government was functioning like the agents of capitalists. Now what is the West Bengal Government doing? Farmers are being deprived of their land, which is their only source of livelihood. It becomes difficult to understand as to how it becomes an anti-farmer action on the part of any state Government to acquire land for SEZs but the same action becomes part of the development process if done by the West Bengal Government ? The shots fired at the farmers staging a protest under the leadership of Trinamool Congress leader Sushri Mamata Banerjee exposes the capitalist character of the Communists. I myself had gone to Singur and held discussions with the farmers. I was arrested there itself. The issue of lathi charge on the farmers of Singur rocked both Houses of Parliament. I met Mamata Banerjee at the site of her fast after my return. I assured her that the BJP is with her in this movement in the interests of farmers.
BJP is of the firm opinion that cultivable land should not be acquired for setting up SEZs as far as possible. If necessary, after non-agricultural land, single crop land should be acquired first. Multi-crop land should not be acquired at all. The farmers who give up their land to pave the way for industrial development should be adequately compensated and a member from the farmer's family should be given employment. The Government should also ascertain whether exports are increasing through the SEZs or not.
FDI in Retail Trade
The Government has given permission for Foreign Direct Investment in the area of retail trade. A well-known US company is now planning to open its shops in India. I fear that in the coming days, small and ordinary traders selling grocery and other items may have to incur serious losses due to such policies. After farmers, it is the small traders who are at the receiving end of the UPA Government's economic policies. According to an estmate, about 1.5 crore retail traders could face the crisis of livelihood in the coming years. The Union Government will have to ensure that unlike many small farmers who have become landless, small traders do not end up as unemployed.
Neglect of Development Works
During the tenure of the NDA Government, several such farsighted developmental activities were undertaken which would have changed the face of the country in the future. Many such historical projects have become the victims of neglect by the UPA Government. The pace of work on the Golden Quadrilateral has gone slow so has the speed of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. The growing interest rates on housing loans is taking it out of the reach of the common man while the Farm Income Insurance Scheme is not shaping up effectively. Therefore, it appears that the present Government is neglecting many developmental projects just because NDA had initiated them. No politics should be played with development activities.
The rise in corruption after the Congress party coming to power is not an unexpected development. Several allegations of corruption have been made against this Government from time to time. But some unprecedented instances of corruption have taken place during the tenure of this Government. If the Congress party finds a place of pride in the list of recipients of oil kickbacks, it is also accused in Mitrokhin Archives of taking funds from foreign countries 30-35 years back. But corruption touches its nadir when the Government of India appears to be helping Ottavio Quattrocchi, prime accused in the Bofors scam, in defreezing his British bank accounts. I would like to remind the people of India with several such shameful instances of corruption so that the real face of the UPA Government is unmasked.
Internal Security Under Threat
Under the UPA Government, internal security is another major problem which has put the common man in grave danger alongwith the slow pace of development and inflation.
Everybody is aware of the speed with which terrorism has spread and grown in the country ever since the UPA Government assumed office. I need not repeat it here. But what is of far more serious concern is that even after acknowledging the ever increasing threat posed by terrorism, no concrete step has been taken to effectively deal with it and the common man has been left at the mercy of God.
Few days back, the country's Home Minister conceded that the strength and striking power of terrorists have increased so much that they can attack our nuclear facilities too. Few days later, the Chief of the Intelligence Bureau stressed on the need for enacting an effective law to deal with terrorism. However, the Government feels that scrapping of POTA is an outstanding achievement and that terrorists can be checked with the help of the Goonda Act and the Arms Act.
Some time back, there were news reports that the Israeli intelligence agency has expressed fears that the important tourist destination of Goa could be targeted by the terrorists. I would like to remind that the ultras have already targeted the nation's political center Delhi, economic center Mumbai, intellectual hub Bangalore and cultural centers such as Ayodhya and Kashi. Now centers of strategy (nuclear facilities) and tourist centers too are being targeted. We can very well visualize the shadow of terror looming large over the country under the UPA Government.
Bharat Suraksha Yatra
Right from the outset, the policies of the Congress pertaining to the nation's internal security has not been favourable. Keeping this in view, about eight months back, we undertook two 'Bharat Suraksha Yatras' in April 2006 to create an awareness among the people of the country about the crisis confronting internal security. One was led by Sh. Advaniji and the other by me. Many so-called secular intellectuals had at that time criticized the twin Yatras saying they were unnecessary and would spread communalism. Don't the incidents that have taken place in the country over the last eight months and the admissions made by the country's Home Minister himself prove how important and far-sighted the Yatras were? But I regret that despite our efforts in creating public awareness, there is no change in the Government's lackadaisical attitude towards internal security. On the contrary, this Government appeared to be playing a strange and dangerous game involving minority appeasement and internal security.
Modernisation of Army
Our Military might must be of high order in face of challenges from all sides. Our might depends upon the available technology and high moral of our forces. Our neighbours are spending more percentage of their budget on defence. We also should not overlook the need of Mordernisation of Army.
Suicides or desperate attacks on colleagues are on rise in our armed forces. This is a matter of serious concern. Government must understand the sensitivity of the issue. We must ensure that these incidences are not repeated and the forces work without tensions.
Appeasement: Apprehensions of a Fresh Partition
Minority appeasement is not a new problem confronting Indian politics. But the new dimensions lent to it by the UPA Government is taking a dangerous shape. Reservation for Muslims in Government jobs in Andhra Pradesh, 50 per cent reservation in Aligarh University and Muslim census in the armed forces have all become passé. Congress and other so-called secular parties are constantly giving new and fatal definitions to minorityism. If the demand for reservation for Muslims on the basis of the Sachar Committee is raised at one point, you also have the Prime Minister demanding that the Muslims have the first right over the nation's resources. Demands for saving Mohd Afzal, whose role has been established in the Parliament attack case, from the gallows is also raised. We also get to see objections being raised to the recital of 'Vande Mataram'. It seems as if the Congress is following the footsteps of the Muslim League in the pre-independence days.
Narrow Politics over 'Vande Mataram'
'Vande Mataram', the clarion call during the freedom struggle has today come to be identified as communal. What a big irony is this but the greater irony is that this has been done by a Government which claims to be the sole inheritor of the legacy of the freedom movement. The Congress party itself decides to commemorate the centenary of 'Vande Mataram' yet both its Prime Minister and party President do not muster enough courage to attend the 'Vande Mataram' function due to their greed for the vote bank.
When Bengal was partitioned on the basis of communal lines 101 years back, it is by singing this very 'Vande Mataram' the people of Bengal created a wave of nationalism forcing the British to undo the communal partition. Vande Mataram which was a song of national unity which put an end to communal partition has today become the song of communal divide thanks to the vote bank politics of the Congress party.
The strident voice of nationalism is being sacrificed at the altar of vote bank politics by the Congress and the Communists. The BJP vehemently opposed this move, staged demonstrations across the country and raised this clarion call once again in the native village of the song's author Bankim Chandra Chatterjee on the occasion of his birthday. I myself participated in this function.
The Left allies of the Congress and the Samajwadi Party too do not appear to be far behind in this regard. The role of a legislator supporting the Samajwadi Party Government in Uttar Pradesh appears suspicious in the Mau riots. A Minister in the SP Government even issues a 'Fatwa' for death punishment to a foreign cartoonist. But neither the so-called secular parties nor secularist intellectuals find any fault in it. The Left parties do more shocking things. A Minister in the West Bengal Government Subhas Chakravarty had to apologise because he publicly offered prayers to Goddess Kali at the Tarakeshwari Peeth temple in Kolkata. It is a strange irony that in this country a Minister in the state Government has to tender an apology for offering prayers while on the other hand nobody raises a finger if a Minister in another state Government issues a 'fatwa' for death in the name of religion.
Govt Faces Ridicule in Court on the Issue of Infiltration
On the Constitutional front, who can forget the unanimous resolution of the Kerala Assembly demanding the release of Abdul Nasser Madani, the prime accused in the Coimbatore bomb blasts case? The Congress also amended the Foreigners Act in such a manner in the wake of the Supreme Court scrapping the IMDT Act so as to provide the same kind of relief to illegal foreign infiltrators which they used to get under the IMDT Act. The people of Assam had gone against this Act and the apex court had declared this law of the Union Government as unconstitutional. The Supreme Court observed that there cannot be a separate law for any state unless provided for in the Constitution. The Court felt that the proportion of illegal Bangladeshi infiltration into the country was no less than an external aggression. Yet, the Congress-led Government is trying its level best to protect the infiltrators.
Banerjee Committee: Exposed
The Banerjee Committee was yet another striking example of the UPA Government manipulating constitutional bodies in blind pursuit of minorityism. The Centre had set up the Banerjee Committee to probe the Godhra incident. This Committee in its findings ruled out arson and said the fire caused in the train was a mere accident. This report was put to use in the Bihar Assembly elections. The UPA Government's motive of politically using the Committee stood exposed when the Gujarat High Court rejected the notification setting up the Banerjee Committee. Not only this, the report was termed as malafide. Undoubtedly, the court's verdict was a tight slap on the UPA Government's unconstitutional policies.
Sachar Committee: Far from Truth
The Central Government set up yet another committee to find out the social and economic conditions of the Muslims under the Chairmanship of Justice Rajinder Sachar. The Committee has submitted its report to the Government. But a perusal of the report makes it abundantly clear that the Committee's outlook was one-sided and pre-meditated. The entire effort of the Committee was to prove that the Muslim society is extremely backward with regard to all social indicators. Many such statistics have been given in the report. The Committee has sought to blame the system of governance and the majority community for the backwardness of Muslims.
The BJP believes that the state's primary objective should be to ensure equality. But it is a matter of concern that such arguments are being put forward that weaken the country's unity. The Government should also ponder over as to why the other minority communities in the country do not have the kind of grievances faced by the Muslims as per the Sachar Committee report.
If the Muslims are in this situation even after 59 years of Independence, then aren't those people who governed this country for 53 out of 59 years responsible for it?
No Mercy to Traitor
The UPA Government's intentions in Afzal episode is known to everyone. The Sessions court, the High Court and the Supreme Court have sentenced Afzal to death for his role in the terrorist attack on Parliament. Still, the so-called secularists are raising a hue and cry. An attempt is on to save a terrorist from the gallows by taking advantage of the constitutional provision for Presidential clemency. A Congress Chief Minister publicly demands commutation of the death sentence. The same demand is reiterated by a CPI (M) legislator Mohd Yusuf Tarigami. It is even being said that Kashmir would be in flames if Afzal is hanged. We strongly condemn such mindset supportive of traitors and consider it as a serious threat to national unity and integrity. I would like to thank BJP activists from across the country who staged a massive rally on the first day of the Winter Session of Parliament and protested against the UPA Government's sympathetic policies towards terrorists. The BJP's strong protest on this issue would be remembered for years. The rally in Delhi succeeded in sending a strong message across the country that the nationalist forces have stood up in strength against the anti-national forces and would not allow their evil designs to succeed.
Return of the Medals by families of Martyrs- A matter of regret
The Indian Parliament faced a terrorist attack on December 13, 2001. Several security personnel saved the nation's leadership from the terrorist onslaught by sacrificing their lives. Cretainly, this day should be observed to strengthen our determination in the struggle against terrorism. But on December 13 this year, a shameful incident took place which should be humiliating for any Central Government. Families of the martyrs returned the gallantry medals in protest against the soft approach of the Congress on the death sentence given to traitor Afzal. From childhood, we have heard 'Shaheedon Ke Chitaon Par Legenge Har Baras Mele, Watan Par Mitne walon ka Baki Yehee Nishan Hoga' (every year, on the funeral place of martyrs, there would be fairs; this would be the only remaining mark of the Martyrs). But nobody would have imagined that the fair would take such a shape and such would be the attitude of the Government towards the remaining mark. The return of the medals by the families of the martyrs is not an ordinary incident but is a forever condemnable incident of disregarding the sacrifice of the martyrs for the sake of vote bank politics.
Prime Minister's Inappropriate Statement at the Important Forum
The appeasement policies of the Congress touched the nadir when the Prime Minister told the National Development Council meeting that the minority communities, particularly the Muslims, had the first right over the nation's resources. From this platform, I would like to ask the Central Government how a Union Government working within the purview of the Constitution can talk about providing the first right over the country's resources to one community, that too on communal basis, when the Constitution itself has given equal right to all communities over the country's resources? The Government does not represent any particular community. The Government's duty is to accelerate development keeping in view all the communities. But it seems the Congress Government has got so deeply involved in the politics of appeasement that it has become disinclined towards all social, political and constitutional responsibilities. Irrespective of the clarification the Prime Minister may now give, the message has now gone across that in the eyes of the UPA Government, the rights of the non-Muslims on the country's resources are secondary. If we try to understand it more clearly, the majority community has become second-class citizens in the eyes of the Central Government. If anybody has the first right over the country's resources, it belongs to the poor, the scheduled tribes, the Dalits. But in the eyes of the Central Government, the Muslim community is more important than the poor, the tribals and the Dalits. We have no problems if the poor among the Muslims are provided facilities. Such sections within the Muslim community are already getting these facilities in the most backward category. Therefore, to talk of providing facilities, reservation or the first right on communal basis is not only unethical but also unconstitutional.
Through such efforts, the UPA Government is trying to keep apart the Muslim society from the national mainstream.
I would like to remind the manner in which during the freedom struggle, the Muslim League tried to divide the electorate on the basis of Muslims and non-Muslims which finally led to the partition of the country. Similarly, by trying to divide the nation's resources among the Muslims and non-Muslims, the Congress is not only taking the country towards another partition but also shattering the dreams of India becoming a developed nation.
During the debate in the Constituent Assembly, Sardar Patel had urged the Indian Muslims not to raise those issues which became the cause for the country's partition. But today, the Congress Government itself is trying to put forward divisionary provisions, which are posing a serious threat to both the country's identity and existence.
As for the Leftists, they have been opposing Indian nationalism right from the outset. First they stood in support of Pakistan and now they are campaigning for a discriminaroty system in favour of Muslims. On November one last, the CPI (M) went to the extent of even proposing a Muslim sub-plan for the 11th Five-Year Plan.
The present Central Government has given up secularism in toto and has adopted a theocratic approach. Secularism itself is in danger due to this Government. Democracy itself is in danger if the nation's secularism is under threat.
Social harmony in the entire country has come under threat due to these wrong policies of the UPA Government. I would urge the Muslim community to understand this wretched conspiracy of the Congress. This is a conspiracy which would cause harm not only to one community but the entire country. The Muslim community itself would be harmed by these policies. Hence, the Muslim community should come forward on its own and distance themselves from such policies.
Honouring Terrorists - Insulting Revolutionaries
The Government's sole agenda seems to be to placate Muslim voters. In the recent bye-elections to the Thiruvambadi Assembly constituency in Kerala, there was a fierce competition between the CPI (M) and the Congress to project terrorists as role models. While the CPI (M)-led LDF was seeking votes in this pre-dominantly Muslim constituency by printing the photos of notorious terrorist Madani in its posters, the Congress-led UDF was canvassing support by invoking the names of saddam Hussein and Afzal Guru. It would not be an exaggeration if this joint contribution of the Congress and Communist parties in strengthening terrorism and separatism is termed as anti-national. To stoop to this level to get only the votes of Muslims would be fatal for democracy itself. This Government which humiliates valiant freedom fighters like Veer Savarkar and honours traitors wants to distract the Muslim community also from Ashfaqullah Khan and Veer Abdul Hameed. The people of this country should be preapared to give a befitting response to such unpatriotic forces.
The stature gained by India at the international level during the tenure of the NDA Government led by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee is fast becoming part of history. India's prestige and standing has been considerably eroded due to wrong policies pursued by the UPA Government over the last two-and-a-half years.
Recently, the Chinese President Hu Jintao had visited India. Just ahead of that visit, the Chinese Ambassador to India said that Arunachal Pradesh was a part of China. This is a clear indicator that the Indian Government failed to maintain balance in the diplomatic relations with China even just before the Chinese President's visit to India. What's more, the Chinese Ambassador went to the extent of saying that talks are on with the Indian Government for exchange of territory of Arunachal Pradesh. When the Leader of Opposition Shri L K Advaniji raised this issue in Parliament, the External Affairs Minister's response was totally ambiguous and did not remove the doubts and fears in the minds of the people.
I would like to remind you that even during the earlier tenure of Congress Governments, China had been dominating us. I would not like to discuss the 1962 war, but I would like to recall that China's post-1962 attempt to infiltrate into India was in 1987 when it made deep inroads into the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh and even build a helipad and the Government got to know about in after several days, though a highly powerful Government led by late Rajiv Gandhi was in power at the Centre. Whereas during the tenure of the Vajpayee Government at the Centre, we were able to resolve the dispute over Sikkim in India's favour.
Nepal is the latest example of the failure of the Indian Government's foreign policy. For centuries, India and Nepal have traditionally shared fraternal cultural and social ties. Hence, any development in Nepal had a natural fallout in India. The Government should keep a vigilant eye on the changes currently taking place in Nepal. The Government should ensure that under no circumstance, the Nepalese soil is used by the ISI or other forces across the Himalayas against the strategic and internal security interests of India. In the past too, there have been several such instances when the ISI had used Nepal to carry out anti-India activities. In future too, the ISI should not be able to strengthen its base in Nepal taking advantage of the fluid situation there. This should be a matter of concern for us.
It is imperative that the democratic parties in Nepal are united and strengthened and the supporters of democracy win with a majority in the elections to the constituent assembly so that a healthy democratic atmosphere is created in Nepal and there remains no place for violence in Nepalese politics in future. Therefore, it is essential that the Indian Government remains vigilant.
During the tenure of the NDA Government, we had made Pakistan to commit that it would not allow its soil to be used for terrorist activities against India. But Pakistan's approach over the two-and-a-half to three years goes totally against the assurances given by it. Investigating agencies have got clear evidence of Pakistan's involvement in the blasts that took place in Mumbai and Malegaon in the last few months. The Mumbai Police Commissioner publicly admitted at a press conference that Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI was involved in the serial blasts in suburban trains. The Indian Government has failed to exert any diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to prevent such activities. On the contrary, few days before the blasts, the Prime Minister announced a Joint Mechanism with Pakistan to check terrorism, on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Summit in Havana. He further stated that Pakistan too was a country affected by terrorism. The evidence before the Indian intelligence agencies and the Prime Minister's statement go in opposite directions. I would like to ask the people of the country whether they think that Pakistan is not a country supporting terrorism but is itself a victim terrorism and it has to evolve a Joint Mechanism to fight terrorism.
Few days back, the Pakistan Foreign Minister in a statement said the talks with India on the Siachen issue were in their final phase. The Army on its part has made it amply clear that it was not in favour of vacating Siachen. The Government of India on its part has neither reacted on the issue nor made its position clear. This doubt with regard to the strategically crucial Siachen is a matter of concern for the country.
Prior to this, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has suggested a formula for resolving the Jammu and Kashmir issue. He talked about joint administration of Jammu and Kashmir. The Prime Minister welcoming this proposal is not only surprising but also disturbing.
Whether it be the issue of joint administration of Jammu and Kashmir or talks with Pakistan on Siachen, the Central Government should not take any step on such issues without taking into confidence the people of and Parliament.
The ethnic issue is flaring up in Sri Lanka once again. Northern Sri Lanka is moving towards a civil war. The Government of India has not made its stand clear on this sensitive issue as well.
India-IS Nuclear Deal: Removed from National Interests
The citizens of the country have naturally expressed their concern over the contents of the nuclear agreement passed by the US Senate recently.
Right from the beginning, the BJP has been vigilant about India's interests with regard to this agreement. Former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee himself was the first to express his apprehensions over this deal in July 2005 itself. Later, India's nuclear scientists endorsed those apprehensions. We do not agree at all with the present agreement because India is not being accepted as a nuclear state. Rather, restrictions akin to the CTBT and NPT have been imposed on any kind of nuclear tests in the future. There cannot be anything more worrying than the post-agreement requirement to seek the permission of the US Congress to reprocess the nuclear fuel used in India. The Prime Minister had not given any satisfactory reply to the questions raised by the BJP with regard to the agreement even at that time. But whatever assurances he had given on the floor of Parliament do not find a place in the draft agreement. During the Bharat Suraksha Yatra, I had expressed my concern on the issue and demanded that India should consider backing out of the Agreement, if necessary. It seems as if the development of indigenous nuclear technology is being obstructed. The attempts to check our security and military nuclear competence seems to be succeeding in the perspective of energy supplies. The BJP is of the firm view that India should have the right to maintain necessary nuclear deterrence and enhance it if necessary. Any kind of restraint on our nuclear power and sovereignty is totally unacceptable to us.
Insensitivity towards Hindus and Sikhs
Recently, an instance of a Hindu temple being demolished in Kazhakstan. Houses of several Hindus were also demolished alongwith the temple. But from the attitude of the Indian Government, it appeared as if the incident did not matter to them at all.
Few days backs, international news agencies had carried a news item that Sikh families in Kabul were becoming victims of atrocities. It said even their houses and businesses were being forcibly occupied. The Central Government remained mysteriously silent on this issue also.
The atrocities against Hindus in Bangladesh does not affect the Indian Government at all though they are prepared to amend the Constitution to protect Bangladeshi infiltrators.
The aforementioned incidents make it clear that the misbehaviour and hurting of sentiments of Hindus and Sikhs abroad does not matter at all to the UPA Government. It is an insensitive Government when it comes to the sentiments of the Hindus and Sikhs. Yes, the Government gets hyperactive even at the cost of national interests when it comes to the sentiments of other minority communities. We believe that the Congress and Left parties not only practice vote bank politics within the country but also in impartially viewing and reacting to incidents involving the Indian community abroad.
The Plight of Kashmiri Pandits
The exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Jammu and Kashmir is a matter of national concern. The Kashmiri Pandits are today running from pillar to post within their own country. The UPA Government is not serious about protecting the interests of the Kashmiri Pandits. The Central Government's approach appears to be totally partisan not only on the plight of Hindus and Sikhs abroad but also within the country. While new facilities and new packages are being announced for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the Government has not come out with any scheme for the Hindus displaced from Kashmir Valley. The Government has not even clarified whether there are any budgetary provisions for Kashmiri Pandits in the package announced for Jammu and Kashmir. The Kashmiri Pandits are forced to lead a miserable life with an uncertain future in refugee camps due to the neglect and disregard of the Government. The BJP has been sensitive to the interests of the Kashmiri Pandits right from the beginning. It is a matter of commitment for us.
Shri Ram Janmabhoomi: An issue of National Self-Respect
The issue of Ram Janambhoomi has never been a political issue for the BJP. We have always considered it to be an issue of national self-respect. Congress, Samajwadi Party, Left parties and other so-called secular parties turned this issue of national honour into a national controversy. Last year, there was a terrorist strike on Sri Ram Janambhoomi. The possibility of a similar threat in future remains. Such information is available with the he Central Government too. Despite this, today secular political parties are engaged in politics over purely security-related technical issue like providing a bullet-proof enclosure for the Ram Lalla idols. It is being said that the Government will hold discussions with all the political parties on the issue of providing bullet prood cover for the idols of Ram Lalla and would try to build a consensus on it. Can there be anything more fatal and ridiculous that political pulls and pressures would determine whether a sensitive place is to be given bullet-proof protection or not.
On December 6, 2006, there were posters plastered across the capital demanding that a mosque be built at the Shri Ramjanambhoomi Sthal. Demonstrations were also held with protesters carrying placards such as 'Masjid Wahin Banegi' (the Mosque will be built there only). Is it proper to create such an atmosphere?
I would like to remind all of you that both the Congress and the Samajwadi party had declared after the demolition of the disputed structure that the Babri Mosque would be rebuilt there only. Today, we have a Congress Government at the Centre and a Samajwadi Party Government in Uttar Pradesh. I would like to know from both these parties whether they continue to stick to their earlier stand? They should make it clear before the people, The BJP is clear that only a grand temple for Maryada Purushottam Lord Shri Ram should be built at that place.
I regret to say that the UPA Government is not at all serious about bringing about a solution to the Ayodhya dispute. Over the last two-and-a-half years, neither the Government not the Prime Minister himself has taken any step towards resolving the Ram temple construction issue. The Congress President has not even uttered a word on this subject so far. What's more, the Ayodhya Cell set up in the Prime Minister's Office during the NDA rule too has been disbanded. Maryada Purushottam Lord Shriram is a symbol of our ancient culture an epitome of our national traditions which resides in the heart of every Indian.
I urge both the UPA and Uttar Pradesh Governments to give priority to the issue of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi. They should make some efforts to resolve it. I request the Prime Minister to revive the Ayodhya Cell in the Prime Minister's Office and begin a dialogue with the organizations and religious leaders involved with this movement.
Respect Women Power
The BJP has always been respectful towards women. It is our firm belief that the task of empowering women should be accelerated at the social level. In the changing scenario, women are not inferior to men in any area of activity. They play an active role in the developments taking place in the society. We will have to devise schemes for the continuing development of almost the half population of the country. We have all along been insisting on 'Old Foundation - New Building'. We will have to think about women from the point of view of equality, equal rights and proper security. An educated woman can break several chains of illiteracy. I congratulate the BJP Mahila Morcha for creating public awareness against social problems such as female foeticide. The BJP will have to launch several campaigns against different social evils. Building of a prosperous India sans the proper development of women would be a dishonesty. Women are creative by nature. Their constructive role contributes immensely to social development.
Neglect of Women's Reservation Bill
It is unfortunate that no attention has been focused on the development of women in the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA Government. The anti-women face of the UPA Government has come to the fore on the issue of the Women's Reservation Bill. Though the UPA Government keeps raising hullabaloo on this issue, it backtracks when it comes to passage of the legislation. Particularly, the intention of the Congress is not clear on the Women's Reservation Bill. We are proud that necessary initiatives were taken to implement the Bill during the tenure of the BJP-led NDA Government. But the Congress-led UPA Government does not at all appear to be sincere on this issue. Even the Left parties supporting the UPA Government have been unmasked on this issue. The BJP firmly believes that 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures should be ensured and whenever necessary, the party is willing to extend its cooperation and support.
UPA's Tainted Profile
The BJP has all along been committed to protection of values in politics. We had raised the issue of tainted Ministers from the beginning of the present Lok Sabha itself. We had even handed over the list of tainted Ministers to the Hon'ble President. The UPA Government did not pay any heed to it. The recent decision of the court that no permission required to be taken from the Government for prosecuting any political leaders would be the right step towards cleansing the politics of such tainted Ministers and politicians. The central Government is trying to rein in even this verdict of the court. The BJP is committed to probity in public life and is determined not to support the Government in any such attempt. We also believe that there has been a decline in values in all walks of life. Neither judiciary nor the legislature or executive have remained untouched by it. Therefore, efforts should be made to refine our experiences in a democracy.
BJP is of the firm belief that cultural unity forms the basis of our nationalism. It is this cultural unity which has held India together for thousands of years. New concepts and lifestyles are taking roots in the Indian society posing a challenge to our cultural values in the same manner foreign companies and products had increased their presence in the country in the wake of globalisation and liberalization in recent times. An objective of our Government was to accelerate the pace of development and establish India in the category of developed nations and our Government provided decisive momentum to the country in this direction. But development should not be at the cost of our cultural values because decline in cultural values not only influences the personal lives of citizens but also reduces the sense of nationalism and self-respect in the entire country. The present Government should pay its attention in this direction also. The Government should seriously ponder over providing planned protection in the social and cultural arena in the same manner it formulates planned development treating all areas as a single sector.
The menace of naxalism poses a serious threat before the nation. It is a serious problem concerning national security which has taken the form of terrorism but under the influence of the Left parties, the UPA Government seeks to justify the naxalite problem by linking it with social inequalities. The Union Home Minister has even described naxalism as a human problem. If the policy of the Leftists towards naxalites is prejudiced, the policy of the Congress is foolish and not far-sighted. The negative results of holding talks with naxalites in Andhra Pradesh is before us. Ultimately, the Andhra Government had to go back to the policy of sternly dealing with the naxalites. We firmly believe that the naxalite problem can be solved through strategic remedies and harsh actions. Naxalism is a violent ideology. Any sympathy for it would have disastrous consequences.
A very sad aspect of this problem is that thousands of security personnel have lost their lives in terrorist attacks. Naxalism is fast spreading its tentacles from the Nepal border to Andhra Pradesh. The nation is sitting on a landmine due to the slack policies of the Union Government in this regard.
India's north eastern states not only have a unique geographical position but a unique social and cultural identity. It is our belief that the Congress, which had been in power at the Centre for a long time, had failed to understand the problems of the north-eastern states in the right perspective and resolve them. Due to this, today the north-eastern states are facing intricate problems. Traditionally, BJP is not considered very powerful here. It is a matter of satisfaction for us that today we have our Government in Nagaland. We are the main Opposition party in Arunachal Pradesh. Our having a coalition Government in the pre-dominantly Christian Nagaland should be an eye opener for those calling us anti-minorities. It is necessary for us to pay more attention to this region and give it an appropriate place in the mainstream of national development by strengthening the nationalist ideology.
Except for Karnataka, southern India is a region where we need to work harden to increase our influential role. Southern states states have of late been witness to a new change. And that is terrorism raising its ugly head. Jehadi terrorism is no more confined to northern India outside Jammu and Kashmir but we are witnessing its dreadful forays into the south. The Coimbatore incident in 1997 marked the beginning of this phenomenon. Due to the wrong policies pursued by the Congress and Left parties, the situation has come to such a pass that the Chief Minister of Kerala's Left Democratic Front Government V S Achuthanandan said in his October 27 statement that the state is not free from fundamentalist and extremist outfits operating with external assistance. If this situation has been created in a peaceful state like Kerala, the Congress and the Left parties are to be squarely blamed as it were they who passed an unanimous resolution in the state Assembly demanding release on parole of prime accused in the Coimbatore blasts Abdul Nasser Madani.
The Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore has already been targeted by the terrorists. There are reports that major centers of information technology and the prestigious DRDO in Hyderabad too are on the hit list of the ultras.
Many centers of India's emerging economic and intellectual prowess and several major centers of defence, nuclear energy and space research are located in southern India. If the jehadi terrorists are able to establish a strong base in southern India, it would be extremely dangerous for the nation. I urge the Central Government to establish a joint anti-terrorism management mechanism. The BJP is prepared to extend all cooperation in this regard.
Results of Bye-elections
Bye-elections to several Lok Sabha and Assembly seats were held recently. We feel proud to state that we have not lost a single seat which we had held. The victories in the Vidisha Lok Sabha seat and the Bada Malehra Assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh and the Bhagalpur Lok Sabha seat in Bihar has established the strength of our organization. The expected success in the elections to the local bodies in Uttar Pradesh has boosted the morale of party activists across the country.
BJP; Our Legacy and Our Responsibility
We are proud of the fact that two of the tallest leaders of the country - Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Shri Lal Krishna Advani - are with us. Even our opponents cannot disagree with this. These two leaders command considerable influence on the minds of the people and are widely respected. The most important thing is that despite reaching dizzying heights they always identified themselves with the party. They have safeguarded internal democracy with great honesty and had always encouraged team spirit. They have in them all those attractive qualities symbolized by the BJP. Undoubtedly, we drew guidance and inspiration from the ideology and idealism of Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.
The institutionalized ideology and idealism that we inherited over the decades is our asset and the key foundation of our style of functioning. Ideal leaders like Atalji and Advaniji are the products of decades of hard work. Their penance, sacrifice and organizational spirit and their association with national sentiments have become not only become their identity but also of the entire BJP.
BJP - A Distinct Organisation
In a democracy, it is important that political parties establish the highest standards of internal democracy to fulfil the aspirations of the people. It is my belief that if a party does not have internal democracy, it cannot be encouraging democracy outside. Therefore, internal democracy alone is the complete lifeline of any political party, which is committees to people's welfare and great national objectives. The BJP has always believed in internal democracy.
BJP has consistently maintained a vibrant culture of internal democracy. BJP has always respected its important human resources. This is why the BJP has been a center of attraction for generation after generation of new members, youth and idealist activists. And despite all the ups and downs of politics, the party has never deviated from its basic aims and objectives.
Recently, we concluded our organizational elections. We had earlier itself kept apart organizational elections in the states where Assembly elections are round the corner. We have 35 states from the organizational point of view. Out of these, organizational polls have been held in 22 states. In view of the upcoming Assembly polls, it was decided not to hold elections in five states. The process of organizational elections would be taken up at the earliest in states where they have been left out. I am confident that the process would be completed at the earliest with your cooperation.
Our Thoughts, Conduct and Aim
Friends, when we deliberate on organizational matters, I consider it important to mention certain things.
We will have to formulate our future role keeping in mind a half of our population i.e. women and youth.
Our responsibility increases wherever we are in power. The aforementioned things should be seen as translating into action when we are in power. The people should on their own feel that the Government is doing a great job. Our state Governments are making consistent efforts to achieve the three objectives of able administration, clean image and popularity among the common man.
The question arises as to what weapons do we require to achieve our objectives while dealing with the challenges before the nation.
There cannot be two opinions that if any political party or organization has to effectively work in the society, its conduct should be seen as the best. In the political arena, the common man's expectations from the BJP has always been of an excellent conduct. We have consistently maintained this conduct and as a political party we have established a separate identity of our own which people described as 'party with a difference'. But we must honestly accept that over the recent past fingers have been raised on this image of ours due to different reasons. As the challenge of uplifting the society and nation building is a serious, we will have to make our reputation non-controversial through our excellent conduct.
Therefore, at the social level, our main foundation would be excellence in conduct.
Now the question arises as to how is it possible that the conduct of the entire political party appears to be the best in the society. Please think over it. It is possible only when we are all seen as moving in the same direction with total unity and with the same spirit. If all this is possible because of any single reason, it would be discipline. Howsoever strong we may be, lack of discipline would keep success away from us. In the Mahabharata war, the Kauravas had the bravest of warriors. Bhishma, Drona, Kripacharya, Karna, Duryodhan and Ashwatthama were among the bravehearts who could single-handedly wipe out the entire army of the Pandavas. Yet, success eluded them because everyone was acting according to their personal view. We should keep in mind that even such a major force could be defeated in the absence of discipline. If conduct is our insistence at the social level, it is discipline at the organizational level. Several questions were raised at us on the issue of discipline in the recent past. Now it becomes the responsibility of all of us here to end all such questions once for all. We are proud even today that we are the only large political party in the country which chooses its leadership by practicing internal democracy through organizational elections. And save for some exceptions, the standard of our discipline has been of the highest order. Our effort should now be to maintain such strong discipline in the coming days that even discussion of the exceptions of the past would become irrelevant.
Therefore, at the organizational level, our main foundation would be the strength of our discipline.
Now comes the question as to how to establish discipline in the organization. Discipline can be enforced in two ways - one through fear and one voluntary. I believe that an element of fear of punishment is necessary for discipline but its fundamental source should stem from the self-restraint exercised by all the workers because discipline is there even under a dictatorship but dictatorships do not give constructive results. Our aim is the creation of a great India. Creativity is not possible without discipline and that too emanating from self-restraint.
Therefore, at the personal level, our main foundation should be self-restraint.
If we put together all the aforementioned aspects, BJP's mark in future would be conduct at the social level, discipline at the organizational level and self-restraint at the personal level. Because only through this can we prepare a strong organization which can lead the entire nation on the path of prosperity.
We are not a new-born political party but a massive and mature political party. Our words and actions influences national politics. Our distinctiveness had made a major contribution in our journey to power. Therefore, we will have to pay special attention to our special identity. We should avoid getting lost in the political maze. Our tomorrow would depend on our actions of today. If we want BJP's tomorrow to be better then we should follow all the rules and restraints which are essential. We are in politics not to seek personal pleasure but in the larger interests of the people. Even after 59 years of Independence, even the basic facilities are not available to our citizens and what's more in all these years the Congress alongwith the Left parties have drawn even undisputed issues such as national song, national language and national religion into controversies.
Will this nation which has consistently moved forward over thousands of years facing grave situations would become a victim of Jehadi terrorism, naxalism, appeasement and cultural pollution? We will certainly not allow this to happen. We should clearly understand how gigantic our aim is and how massive is the challenge before us.
Even from the historical viewpoint, this year encompasses several inspiring events. This year marks the 150th anniversary of our first war of independence. The coming year would commemorate the 60th anniversary of our Independence. This year marks the centenary of our national song 'Vande Mataram'. This year also marks the birth centenary of Amar Shaheed Bhagat Singh. And alongwith all this is the birth centenary year of the founder of our ideological foundation Shri Guruji.
The responsibility of responding to all the challenges and making all these dreams come true rests on our shoulders. The glorious future of 21st century beckons us. Come. Let us together resolve on this worthy occasion to realize the dream of a capable, powerful and prosperous India.