Bharatiya Janata Party
1st & 2nd June 2008
Parliament Annexe, New Delhi - 110001
This meeting of the National Executive of the Bharatiya Janata Party is being held at a time when India’s politics takes a significant turn. The Congress-led UPA has completed four years in power and the next General Elections are scheduled in less than a year.
The tenure of the UPA government at the Centre has been disastrous. The UPA is fast running out of political steam. It has lost every major election in the past two years. It has inflicted economic atrocities on the citizens of India by its failure to curb price rise and improve the condition of the Indian farmer. It has seriously compromised India’s internal security. India’s strategic position in the neighbourhood has been adversely affected.
The recent election results of the Assembly elections held in Karnataka are a major political development both for India and the BJP. The victory in Karnataka marks the pan-Indian presence of the BJP. Our dream of governing a State South of Vindhyas has been realized. The BJP has been gradually growing in Karnataka in the last two decades. For us the formation of a government on our own strength in Karnataka puts BJP in the centre-stage of India’s politics.
For Indian politics this is a historic turn. The Congress has hardly smelt electoral victory in the past two years. In Bihar, Punjab, Uttaranchal, U.P., Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Meghalaya and now Karnataka, the Congress Party has been defeated in rapid succession. Most of these States have been won by the BJP and its NDA partners. The Karnataka win places the BJP as the front runner in the next General Elections. The National Executive congratulates all the workers of BJP in Karnataka, its State unit and its Leader Shri B.S. Yeddyurappa on this historic win.
The Congress Party does not have the political courage to honestly analyse the reasons for the defeats. It is the failure of the Congress-led UPA to provide good governance that is responsible for their defeats.
The economic mismanagement of the country is the hallmark of the UPA policies. This mismanagement is reflected in three areas. Firstly, the inability of the UPA to take decisions on account of its contradictions with the Left parties whithout whose support the Government cannot survive. Secondly, its complete failure to control price rise. And finally, the continued infliction of miseries on the Indian farmers.
The policy contradictions between the UPA and the Left have paralysed the economic decision-making of the government. The Left has consistently attempted to influence governmental policy from within. It has supported the government in Parliament and put on a facade of Opposition outside. The government has gone along with this game. Its priority thus was not the economic management of the country but its own survival. The result is a self-inflicted paralysis. All earlier governments since 1991 made economic reforms an art of the possible. This government has made the absence of any economic reform or decision making as the art of its survival and longevity. The Prime Minister and his economic managers firmly believe that the best way to avert a political controversy is by taking no decisions. The result has been that the momentum of economic growth that was achieved in the six years of NDA rule has now been lost.
Prices of all essential commodities are rising. Consumer prices have risen manifold. The government data on wholesale price index though it shows huge price rise, still does not reflect the reality of price rise. Food costs constitute a large percentage of the bill of an average Indian family. Food prices have risen the highest during the UPA rule. After a long gap, food shortages have reappeared. Food security in India has been adversely affected for the first time since the Green revolution. Prices of steel and cement are amongst those which have risen the most. Costlier food, costlier housing, exorbitantly costlier healthcare and education mark the past four years of the UPA government.
The plight of the Indian farmer continues to worsen. Farmer suicides persist and the returns on agriculture are inadequate. The urban-rural divide has worsened. The UPA’s Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the waiver of some loans to the farmers don’t address the roots of the problem. Their goal is narrowly electoral.
If the economic catastrophe inflicted by the UPA on the nation is a key area of concern, the other key area is the compromise with India’s internal security. The edifice of India’s internal security is cracking. Terrorism is an enemy of the nation. It is important that we know the enemy in order to destroy it. Intelligence and investigation are the two known modes of identifying the terrorist. The UPA’s soft approach towards terrorism has today created an unenviable situation where the terrorist is ahead of our security, intelligence and investigative agencies. The infiltration of our intelligence network into the terrorist networks is inadequate. There has been no specific intelligence inputs prior to terrorist strikes. The Home Minister’s reactions are grossly inadequate and, often, comic. They underscore the lack of resolve in fighting terrorism. It has taken the Prime Minister four years in power to realize that a federal investigation agency to fight terrorism is necessary and that terrorism should be treated as a federal crime. Little does the Prime Minister realize that the transfer of the investigation from the State police to the Central police would be completely inadequate if additional powers are not given to our investigators.
Terrorism is an offence against sovereignty of India. Existing provisions and procedures are inadequate to deal with it. What is required is a multi-pronged hard approach to deal with terrorism. This approach will include no mercy for those who commit terrorist crimes, re-introduction of POTA, strengthening of our intelligence network both within and outside the country to have prior intimation/information of terrorist modules, and special powers to investigators.
It is a hard reality that Maoist terrorism is on the increase. It is equally true that cross-border terrorism has now large logistical support within the country. The whole approach to confronting terrorism must change. It is the feeble response, often verging on encouragement, to large scale illegal infiltration from Bangladesh that has made India’s internal security more fragile. Some of the illegal immigrants make up the ‘sleeper cells’ at several places in India. Yet, the UPA prefers to consider them as Economic Refugees.
The recent killing in bomb blasts of innocent bystanders in Jaipur is symptomatic of the problem. The inadequacy of both our investigation and the fragility of our internal security where the terrorists can strike at will is reflected in the episode. It is regrettable that the soft approach of the UPA towards terrorists is influenced by its belief that a soft approach consolidates vote banks and is therefore politically more beneficial. The BJP is of the firm belief that India is exasperated with this onslaught of terrorism. “Enough is Enough” is today’s national mood. The backlash against this vote bank politics is evident particularly as reflected even in recent election results.
The last four years have also seen India lose its strategic primacy in the neighbourhood. A number of our neighbours are gripped by internal crisis. The spill over of that internal crisis to Indian territory is visible.
The UPA Government is guilty of callous neglect of the North Eastern parts of the country. Developmental activity in North East continues to be neglected and insurgency has not been curtailed. The UPA Government has run out of ideas while dealing with the North East.
The NDA-ruled states continue to face an onslaught of discrimination from the UPA Government. The rights of these states are being crushed and the people are being victimised for not voting the Congress to power.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is of the clear view that we are now passing through a phase where the Party must prepare itself for the run up to the Lok Sabha General Elections. We believe that the BJP led-NDA has an obvious advantage in this run up. The UPA government suffers from a leadership inadequacy. The political standing of the Prime Minister in the country is negligible. The over-reliance of the Congress Party on just one family and its successive generations is proving detrimental to the creation of mass base leadership. Merit in the Congress party takes a back seat as dynasty is the only recognised leadership. The Left parties stand exposed. The events of Nandigram have eroded their political strength and credibility. In such a situation, the challenge before the BJP led NDA to provide alternative leadership to the Nation becomes imminent.
We in the BJP, along with our allies, are encouraged by a series of electoral victories. Elections in Gujarat and Karnataka were not influenced by anti-incumbancy. They were a positive vote for the BJP. Faced with a threat of terror an insecure India finds the policies of the BJP more acceptable. People remember the economic management of this country in the six years of Vajpayee rule and compare it with the lackluster performance of the UPA. The BJP reiterates that India today needs a strong leadership, a decisive government, good politics and a significant emphasis on national security. Our workers under the leadership of Shri L.K. Advani should get ready to accept this challenge. A strong BJP will certainly attract strong allies and a strong NDA should ready itself for the Lok Sabha General Elections. The BJP will prepare itself in the coming months for assuming the responsibilities of governance.