Bharatiya Janata Party
National Executive Meeting
12th, 13th, 14th September, 2008
Late Jagannathrao Joshi Sabhagar
Friends, today we have assembled here in Karnataka for our National Executive Meeting. Generally, the National Executive meets once every three months but the location of this national executive has the capacity of making our meeting a truly historic one, since it is taking place in Karnataka for the first time after the BJP has come to power in the state. From the time of the foundation of the Jan Sangh in 1951 to 1980 when the BJP was founded, and from then onwards it has always been our dream to see the BJP form a government in the south. That dream has now become a reality and the apex body of the BJP is today witnessing it. There was a time when the Congress used to form the government in all the four states in the south. This change in Karnataka symbolizes the dawn of a new era in the politics of India.
Over the last three months, the biggest event in national politics has been the UPA government winning the vote of confidence in Parliament. However, the manner in which this vote of confidence has been obtained has shaken the very foundation of our democratic system and parliamentary democracy. The entire country is ashamed by the actions of the Congress led UPA on 22nd July. The Congress has always indulged in acts that turn the administrative setup into a corruption based set up (Note-Tantra). But this time, although the government has technically won the vote of confidence by converting ‘Lok-Tantra’ into ‘Note-Tantra’, it has in the process lost the confidence of the people. This issue would not have been as important if the government had merely lost the confidence of the people, but if the people start losing faith in the very foundation of the democratic process, then such a government will definitely have to be considered guilty of committing a crime. The manner in which the government has attempted to shut its eyes from a fact that has been witnessed by the entire country only demonstrates it’s complete shamelessness. This act of the government will definitely come before the court of the people who will undoubtedly punish them for it.
That the government has actually lost the faith of the people can be proved by the fact that it has not yet convened the monsoon session of Parliament. Generally, every year the monsoon session is convened in the third week of July. This has probably happened for the first time.
Today the country is facing many important issues such as terrorism, price rise, the prevailing situation in the Kashmir valley, natural calamities like floods, among others. In my opinion, the government does not have the courage to face Parliament. How can an unnatural government after saving itself in an unnatural manner muster the courage to face Parliament?
The BJP has always maintained that the UPA is an unnatural alliance which came into being only to keep the BJP away from power. Earlier this alliance was captive of the left and now it has become captive to the Samajwadi Party. Any government which becomes captive to its allies becomes a ‘bonded government’. Probably this is the destiny of the UPA government.
In the first decade of the 21st century, Bangalore, where we have assembled today, has twice experienced the turn of history. Firstly, during the time of the Shri Vajpayee government, Bangalore emerged as the most important centre of Information Technology (IT), and now it is also seen as the Knowledge Capital of emerging India. Secondly, some months ago, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which represents pure Indian nationalism, formed the government in the state on its own. The radiant talent of the Indian youth and the nationalist ideology of the BJP are going to play the most significant role in shaping the future of India. Bangalore, by incorporating both, is clearly indicating towards the golden possibilities of the future.
Friends, whenever the turn of history takes place, it also brings with it many types of challenges. Today also we are witnessing something like that. On the one hand, one sees the limitless possibilities of India’s economic advancement and development, and on the other hand, we are also witnessing serial terrorist attacks one after the other in important cities and every part of the country.
War in the Form of Terrorism
After independence, from the war of Kashmir in 1948 to the Kargil war in 1999, India has faced many attacks. However, the activities of the enemies were confined only to the borders. Even when terrorism fomented, it remained confined to one or two states or a single region or so. But the manner in which our enemies are attacking each and every part of the country and from the north to south, the common man can become its victim anywhere and at anytime. For the first time such a situation has emerged in the country. For India, this is the biggest challenge of the 21st century.
The manner in which India fought against imperialism in the beginning of the 20th century, today in the beginning of 21st century the same kind of struggle is required against terrorism. At that time even imperialism was a worldwide phenomenon, whether it was British imperialism or Spanish, Portuguese or Dutch; here they not only got permanently eclipsed but with the independence of India, the very concept of imperialism came to an end. Today terrorism is also a worldwide phenomenon and I am fully confident that its decisive defeat will take place from India.
To end terrorism, one will need to understand the very concept of terrorism. It is now dishonest to say that illiteracy, poverty and unemployment are the main causes behind terrorism. The terrorists of today are educated, technically qualified and come from well off families yet they believe in this heinous form of violence. Terrorism is a mindset which has no religion. The only solution lies in vigorously attacking it with stringent laws. That is why we repeatedly keep demanding for POTA or a law equivalent to it.
As karyakartas of the BJP, let us take a pledge right here, that in the coming elections, if the people give us a mandate, of which we are fully confident, then the NDA government led by respected Advani ji will embark on an effective campaign to completely weed out terrorism from this land.
Friends, terrorism is a type of war. Throughout history, wars have taken place. In war, in addition to one’s capability, confidence and honesty are very important. The incidents that took place in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and prior to that in Jaipur, Lucknow, Faizabad, Varanasi, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Nagpur etc. all clearly highlight both the intensity as well as reach of this war against us.
The entire series of events that I have mentioned, did not begin in a single day and its seed was sown on the very day the UPA came into power at the centre. If you recall, one of the first decisions that the UPA took after assuming power, was to repeal POTA. This was the very first signal which was responsible for boosting the confidence of the terrorists. Thereafter, the attempt to grant clemency to Mohammed Afzal, who has been convicted in the Parliament attack case and the Congress Party’s Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir meeting with the President of India, to personally seek clemency for him, are some of the reasons which further boosted the self confidence of the terrorists.
Benevolence towards Terrorists: Nature of the UPA Government
Today the UPA government’s soft approach towards terrorism has touched its nadir and this clearly exposes both its faulty policies and also its doubtful intentions. I am not saying this only for the sake of criticism. Only recently a few days ago, we witnessed how the central government failed to defend the ban on SIMI in the High Court. Whereas through the media and other channels, the people of the country can as clearly as broad daylight see to what extent organizations like SIMI are active in expanding and intensifying terrorism in the country. But if anyone fails to see facts that are as clear as the mid day sun, then it is possible that they are blindfolded. The central government is blindfolded to such an extent that it cannot differentiate between national interests and national perils.
Not only the Congress but the leaders of its allies the RJD, LJP and Samajwadi Party are also openly giving statements in favour of SIMI. It was shocking to note that despite the admirable manner in which the Gujarat Police quicky apprehended the accused in the Ahmedabad blasts, many senior leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and Congress along with the Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid went to express sympathy to the home of Abu Basher, who was arrested from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. The people of the country can clearly see whose morale is being boosted by such acts of these political parties.
It is unfortunate that the issue of national security on which there used to be consensus among all the political parties in India, has today also become an element of vote bank politics. While some ministers in this government are trying to define SIMI as a cultural organization, there are others who favour granting citizenship to Bangladeshi infiltrators.
The Supreme Court while giving its verdict on the IMDT Act had said that the problem of Bangladeshi infiltration amounts to the serious problem of external aggression. In context of the decision of the Supreme Court, if a cabinet minister of this government speaks in favour of granting citizenship to Bangladeshi infiltrators, in a sense should it not be considered a kind of treason? On the principle of the collective responsibility of the cabinet, I would like to ask the government on behalf of the people of this country, that if it is dissociating itself from this statement of its own cabinet minister, then why should this minister not be immediately dismissed from the cabinet? And if it is in agreement with this statement, then should not actions be taken against the entire government in the light of the Supreme Court’s verdict?
The approach of the Congress and its allies is not only evident from the passing of a resolution by the Kerala Legislative Assembly in favour of Madani, the main accused in the Coimbatore blasts, to the recommendation of Afzal’s clemency by the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, but also is fueling the politics of appeasement. The hoisting of the Pakistani flag at the Lal Chowk in Kashmir, to the demand advocating the use of Pakistani currency in the valley by a coalition partner, to the voices being raised in favour of SIMI, all indicate towards a nightmarish scenario. Is there any possibility of controversy on these issues? In the interests of the crores of people of this country, we will need to take unequivocal decisions on these issues. But it is not in the character of Congress to take clear decisions on issues related to terrorism and appeasement.
Soft approach towards terrorism and appeasement have always been a part of the character of the Congress and other so called secular parties but now it appears that they have also become an integral part of their style of functioning and political culture. We consider this culture a distortion for India. There is a chronic disorder in the government’s approach towards terrorism, but with the help of our citizens we will find solutions.
Efforts of BJP Ruled States to Control Terrorism
The central government has been blinded by the vote bank politics to such an extent, that it does not want to even acknowledge terrorists. BJP governments despite their limited resources and without any effective legal mechanism, is admirably combating terrorism. The Madhya Pradesh government was the first to unmask SIMI. The Gujarat government not only foiled the blasts in Surat and was able to quickly arrest the terrorists behind the Ahmedabad blasts. Investigations are also proceeding at a fast pace both in Rajasthan and Karnataka. I congratulate the Chief Ministers of all these four states for leading an effective and responsive administration.
It we eliminate the recent achievements of BJP governments, then one finds that no government has not been able to arrest even a single person in all cases where terrorist incidents have taken place over the past four years.
And in addition to this, the central government is sleeping over the anti-terrorism bills passed by Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
This clearly demonstrates the difference between the BJP and Congress when it comes to political will and capacity to combat terrorism.
Terrorism is casting a black shadow not only on the life and property of the common man but also on all systems of the country. The National Security Advisor had long ago accepted that terrorists are infiltrating our share markets. Recently, fake currency amounting to crores of rupees were recovered from the branches of the State Bank of India, the largest nationalized bank of our country. The fake currency recovered from Eastern Uttar Pradesh branch of the bank clearly indicates, that the ISI has not only been able to infuse fake currency into the markets, but has also been successful in depositing them in our bank lockers. This has happened for the first time in the country.
Last year, the central government by hoodwinking the people of the country had transferred the Bofors kickback money to the account of Quattrocchi. Today, such a situation has been created, in which the country’s money is being transferred to the accounts of the enemies of the country, and the enemies of the country are transferring fake currency into important banks of the country. We should seriously contemplate about where will this dangerous export import lead the economy of the country? The nation wants to know as to what steps the central government is taking to deal with this situation.
Rising Inflation and Stagnating Economy
The common man has already started feeling the pinch of rising prices. Even if the rate of inflation has crossed 12%, it does not represent the reality. If the prices of the commodities of daily use are taken into account, then the rate of inflation may well cross the 20% mark. This means that the common man is actually burdened much more than what these figures show. We are making efforts to expose the real picture of the economic policy of the government before the country.
During the tenure of the NDA government, the GDP rate went upto 8.6%. What is even more noteworthy is that we were able to achieve a rising growth rate continuously for 6 years and had created such a momentum, that even when the NDA was not in power, this rate of growth continued for the next two to three years. But now, with the passage of time, as the impact of the NDA tenure has begun to wane, the economy has started to reflect the real impact of the UPA policies.
According to the review report presented by the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, the number of non-Budgetary provisions have increased to such an extent, that it is expected that non budgetary allocation could reach 5% of the GDP. This is happening because the government, in order to present a populist budget, kept many important issues requiring funds like fertilizer subsidy, agricultural loan waiver scheme, additional expenditure on rural employment scheme, expenditure on the sixth pay commission etc. out of the purview of the budget. As a result of this, there is a possibility of the emergence of an unbalanced situation. The GDP which was at 9.6%, is projected to fall to 7.5% in the coming year and the revenue deficit may touch the 6.5% mark.
The Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission had said that it is not possible to control inflation along with development. However, we do not subscribe to his views, as the Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee led NDA government had demonstrated that this is possible. But now even as the prices continue to keep rising, the rate of development is also coming down. Generally inflation is considered to be directly proportional to development, meaning that the increasing rate of development would lead to rising prices, but the economists running this government have even reversed this established principle. Now the rate of development has become inversely proportional to inflation, since despite rising prices, the rate of development is falling. This government has created a bizarre situation. The wrong policies of the UPA government are not only impacting the pockets of the common man, but also affecting the entire economic structure of the country.
The UPA government’s series of failures on the foreign policy front continues unabated. The manner in which cross border terrorism has been gaining ground, it should automatically become a critical part of our foreign policy. I have already spoken about the government’s failure on this subject.
Today, the manner in which the centres of terrorism are being operated from across the border, definitely and clearly reflect the failure of the foreign policy.
Given the continuous failure of this government’s foreign policy, now a foreign dimension has been added to the activities of the terrorists. A few days ago, there was a terrorist attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul. This was the first incident of an attack on an institution outside India. It is no secret as to who was responsible for this attack. Even the US government has clearly held the ISI responsible for this attack. But the Indian government has till date not been able to create any effective pressure on the ISI at any international forum.
The approach of the government with regard to China has been very slack and weak. China has tried to create a border dispute even in undisputed areas such as Sikkim. When our External Affairs Minister went to China with relief materials for the earthquake hit province, he was received not by the Governor of the province but by some junior official. Ever since the UPA has come to power, China has been continuously exerting pressure on India. The Indian government appears incapable of offering tough resistance on this front. The kind of construction activity that China is undertaking in the Himalayan region and Tibet, could adversely impact the environment. India would definitely be affected by this. But the Indian government is not being able to even raise the issue. The Prime Minister is slated to visit China in the coming month of October. I demand that the issue of environment of the Himalayan region should be raised by the Prime Minister during his tour to China.
We have already witnessed the disaster that was perpetrated in the Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Bangalore blasts on account of the activities emerging from the terrorist camps being operated within Bangladesh. Now even the Bangladesh government has accepted the fact that terrorist camps are operating on its soil and Bangladesh Rifles has assured the Border Security Force of cooperation in this regard. Despite this, the government is not being able to take any stringent measures against the terrorist camps in Bangladesh.
Friends, Nepal has emerged in a new form between the last national executive meeting and this one. Nepal is emerging as a democratic republic. Even in the current power equations in Nepal, one can see reflections of a multi-party system there. We welcome the emergence of democracy in Nepal and hope that the close ties of friendship between India and Nepal would remain as strong and intimate as earlier.
How weak is this government’s foreign policy is exemplified by the fact that the US has again denied a visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi. And as far as my information goes, he had not even requested for one. This is not an issue related to any individual or any particular party; the issue is about the Indian government so meekly accepting the denial of a visa to the head of a government elected through the democratic process. Does this not cast questions on the sovereignty of India?
Situation in Jammu and Kashmir
The recent controversy and violence that took place over the issue of granting land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) by the state government for creating facilities for the pilgrims is truly unfortunate. The Jammu and Kashmir government first granted the land at Baltal for the facilities of pilgrims and then under the pressure of a few separatist political leaders, revoked its own decision. The central government is totally responsible for the angry response that this incident generated in Jammu and other parts of the country.
Even more shameful than this was how, on 15th August, a few separatists were able succeed in hoisting the Pakistani flag in Srinagar. The insult of our national flag on Independence Day is intolerable. Earlier this government could not implement the decision of schools reciting our national song ‘Vande Mataram’. Now it is unable to protect the sanctity of our national flag. The sanctity of our national symbols is not safe under this UPA government.
There may be different kinds of opinion among the so called intellectuals on the incidents that are taking place in Jammu and Kashmir. But if I see it from the eyes of a nationalist, then it does not take any brains in distinguishing between the ones who hoist the Pakistani flag and those who raise the slogan ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ with the tricolour in their hands.
The message of the recent problems in Jammu and Kashmir is that it is a fight between the nationalists and the anti-nationals. When the green flag of Pakistan is brought before the Indian flag, there cannot be any two opinions over the solution. From this perspective, some of the solutions in the given situation could be as follows:
• It is imperative to resolve the complaints of discrimination in the allotment of developmental funds and remove regional disparities between Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
• New opportunities of employment should be proportionately created for all the regions of Jammu and Kashmir.
• I demand that the government should mark a special area in the Kashmir Valley for the rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Pandits.
• The Amarnath yatra is not only a religious pilgrimage but also signifies the vibrancy of relations between the far off Kashmir valley and the rest of India. During the two months of pilgrimage, the interior parts of the Kashmir valley get emotionally linked with the rest of India. Therefore, this pilgrimage symbolizes national integration. That is why I consider this yatra to be of national importance.
• It is in this context, that I am demanding that the central government should nationalize the road leading to the Amarnath Yatra, so that in the future, no attempt is made to disturb the social harmony for political reasons.
Whatever has happened in Jammu and Kashmir over so many days, is a condemnable example of the government’s insensitivity. Shri Amarnath Sangharsha Samiti while struggling for the resolution of the dispute displayed exemplary patience. For the first time, voices could be heard throughout the country against the noise being made by separatists in the valley. We express our condolences to the families of all those who sacrificed their lives in the struggle.
We should learn from this incident as to how a handful of people were able to create tension in the entire country. When this movement was at its climax and the anti-national voices were being raised, even then the central government was unable to do anything. I remember that after the disputed structure in Ayodhya came down, to control its possible use / misuse by the state government, the central government had acquired the land. At that time the central government had argued, that the sensitivity of that land was influencing the entire country. The condition with Shri Amarnath Shrine Board issue is also somewhat similar to that. But the central government was unable to do anything due to Article 370 despite understanding the gravity of the situation. I appeal to all the political parties of the country, that in the light of the recent controversies in Jammu and Kashmir, should they not once again reconsider their policies regarding abrogation of Article 370? Would they ever want that such a situation, where on account of a problem in the valley that is affecting the entire nation, the central government finds itself unable to take any action? In my opinion if all political parties honestly reflect on this issue, then it might be possible to create a consensus for abrogating Article 370.
I congratulate the people of Jammu for keeping the spirit of nationalism alive amid the grave threats of the anti-nationals.
Sri Ram Setu
From Shri Amarnath in the north to Sri Ram Setu in the south, this government is continuously attacking the very symbols of Indian culture. It has attempted to destroy Sri Ram Setu to dismissing the very existence of Bhagwan Ram one year ago. Apart from objectionable comments on Bhagwan Ram by its allies, it is condemnable how this government has tried to misinterpret the Kamban Ramayana in the Supreme Court, to legitimize the destruction of Sri Ram Setu.
Sri Ram Setu is not only an ancient symbol of India’s culture or a centre of faith of the Hindu religion, but also symbolises India’s identity and definition since time immemorial. In the Puranas, the geographical boundary of India is mentioned as ‘Aasetu Himachal’ (From the Setu to Himachal). The manner in which the Himalayas cannot be segregated from India’s identity, in the same way Sri Ram Setu also cannot be dissociated from it. The destruction of the Setu is a conspiracy to change the identity of this country. The BJP will never allow this to succeed.
I declare that if our government is formed, the Sri Ram Setu would be declared as a national heritage monument. And if any problem arises in declaring the Sri Ram Setu as a national heritage monument, then we will amend the rules and regulations accordingly and also try to get it listed among the world heritage sites of the UNESCO.
While not a single step could be taken to find a solution for solving the Shri Ram Janam Bhoomi dispute, on the contrary, the undisputed Sri Ram Setu is being sought to being destroyed. I find it strange how such a deliberate attempt to destroy the undisputed Sri Ram Setu and to drag into controversy the symbol of our composite culture Shri Amarnath Yatra and Shri Amarnath Shrine Board which looks after its arrangements has taken place. I would like to ask as to why do controversies arise only on matters of our faith and belief?
We condemn the incident in Kandhmal, Orissa, in which Swami Lakshamananand and his disciples were assassinated. I offer our homage in the memory of Swamiji and his disciples. We hope that the Orissa Government will apprehend and punish the culprits at the earliest. We also strongly condemn the attack on the convoy of Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh and hope that action will be taken against the guilty. In a civilized society, such life taking incidents are not only condemnable but also are shameful.
Changing of the 'Kamal' Logo of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Organisation
Recently the government has taken a decision to change the logo of the Kendriya Vidyalaya organization because the lotus flower is inscribed in it. The lotus flower is considered to be linked with our culture. I would like to remind the government that the lotus is not only considered sacred by the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religions but is also the national flower of India. Is the national flower a communal symbol in the eyes of the Government of India? Why would any sect or religion have objection on any flower? I would like to remind you about the objection that I had raised in my last speech about using the word ‘Dharmanirpekshata’. I would like to reiterate that any objection on a flower can only be made by confusing secularism with ‘Dharmanirpekshata’. In ‘Panthanirpekshata’ no one can have any opposition to any flower. Because the lotus flower is symbolic of Indian culture. Only by trying to understand secularism as ‘Dharmanirpekshata’ can make the lotus appear communal. I would like to ask the government as to how many national symbols would have to be changed because of its misplaced understanding of secularism. Along with the logo of the Kendriya Vidyalaya would it also change sentences like the one inscribed in the Supreme Court, ‘Yato Dharmastatojayah’; or the term ‘Shannohvarunah’ inscribed on the Indian Navy logo; or ‘Nabha Sparsha Diptatama’ the sentence of the Air Force because it highlights the Wind God? All these Dharmic words are inscribed in the numerous symbols of the Indian nation because these symbolize the fundamental character of India. To change them would be a misguided attempt to change the fundamental character of India which we will never allow to succeed.
Two thirds of the people in the country are dependent on agriculture. The Economic Survey of the Government of India for the year 2007-2008 says that the average rate of growth of population today is 1.9%. And the food production has decreased by 1.2%. Today 40% of the farmers of the country want to discard agriculture. Even after sixty one years of independence, 50% of the farmers are dependent on money lenders for loans. Around 48.6% farmers of the country are under the burden of some kind of loan.
In the Budget, the central government had promised to allocate 72,000 crores for waiving the loans of the farmers. Wherever I go and ask how many farmers have got their loans waived, seldom someone is seen to raise his hands. I demand that the government should bring before the country details about how many farmers have been actually benefited by the loan waiver.
Indo-US Nuclear Deal
The revelations made in the letter written by US President George Bush have now clearly proved the apprehensions that the BJP had continuously raised, that by signing the agreement India’s nuclear sovereignty would been undermined. It has also proved that the concealing of facts was not done by the US government but by the Government of India. The Prime Minister consciously misled the country, all the political parties and the Indian Parliament on the issue. Does a minority government have the moral right to commit itself to an international treaty that involves issues related to national security and sovereignity? For the sake of the nuclear deal, the government has completely twisted the truth and engaged in various acts of misdeamenor that include the purchase of votes during the vote of confidence to misleading the country.
The revelations in a section of the media that the United States of America is now of the view that "assured fuel supply" is not a legally binding agreement but merely a political assurance has shaken every Indian. Assurances die with men and regimes, binding agreements bind nations. India must now ponder as to what the deal means for us. Our testing options appear to have been eliminated and there is no legally binding agreement on "assured fuel supply". Does this deal mean differently to different people or is the nuclear deal intended to be breached by the more powerful party to this deal.
There are many reasons for opposing this deal. For instance, one of the main newspapers of China, the People’s Daily, has recently published an article that China does not intend to limit its nuclear power. According to this newspaper, China needs to conduct further nuclear tests. If this kind of thinking is taking place in China and if in such as situation the Government of India surrenders its right to conduct a nuclear test, then it could be dangerous for the country. And such a surrender will impact the autonomy of our decision making ability.
Also by agreeing to the terms of the NSG, have we not willfully converted our unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing into a multi-lateral international commitment? Moreover, if either Pakistan or China conducts a nuclear test that might threaten the balance of our regional strategic and security arrangement, then would not our right to conduct a nuclear test in response be seriously compromised?
We once again want to make it clear that our opposition to the Indo-US Nuclear Deal is different from the opposition of the Left parties. We are in favour of better relations with the US and other countries. We are also in favour of nuclear and political cooperation with the US. Our opposition is limited only to those unbalanced provisions in the deal that endanger the nuclear sovereignty of India.
Calamity of Floods in Bihar and other regions
Over the last one month we have witnessed the natural calamity of floods in many parts of the country. Its severity has been seen in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Assam. Particularly in Bihar, the flood situation became very grim due to the Kosi’s flooding on account of the breach in the dam across the Nepal border. The Bihar government despite limitation of resources has tried to sensitively deal with the situation. All BJP Chief Ministers have contributed in this effort. The BJP also directed all its state units to give financial and other kinds of assistance. I also wrote to the Prime Minister that after the earthquake in Gujarat and Tsunami, the manner in which MPs from outside the state were allowed to make contributions from their funds, a similar provision should also be made in the context of Bihar. I am happy to note that my suggestion has been accepted.
Prior to this, many parts of the country have witnessed drought and farmers suicides are continuing unabated. The government should make a long term plan to deal with farmers’ suicides in Vidarbha on the one hand, and the problem of floods in various parts of the country on the other hand. I once again request the government to consider implementing the ambitious river linking project that was conceived during the tenure of the NDA government, so that to a large extent the country is saved from floods and droughts and farmers in large areas are able to get water for irrigation.
Congratulations to the Medal Winners at the Beijing Olympics
India is one of the largest countries of the world but till now, apart from hockey, we had not been able to win a gold medal. In the 112 year history of the Olympic Games, individual medals were won only on one or two occasions. At the Beijing Olympics, India won the largest number of medals so far. On behalf of the Bharatiya Janata Party, I congratulate Abhinav Bindra for winning the gold medal in shooting, and Vijender Singh in boxing and Sushil Kumar in wrestling for winning bronze medals. They have displayed the constructive energy of the Indian youth on the international forum. The youth of our country will feel highly encouraged by these achievements.
But I would also like to raise the question whether this success is satisfactory for us? No, certainly not. If we desire to reach a high position in the medal tally list at the Olympics, then we will have to identify talented players right from the schools, and provide them with facilities of international standards.
Along with the physical efficiency, the players should also have a high national spirit. I was surprised to learn that in the government text books from the primary to the secondary levels, nowhere it is written that we are proud to be Bharatiya. Perhaps, such a situation does not prevail anywhere else in the world.
In my opinion, if the government does not in a proper manner make our children feel proud of their being Bharatiya, then how would they be instilled with the spirit to compete for the sake of the country, be it in their normal day to day life or upto the international forums.
Prominence to Youth and Women
The BJP became the first political party in the country to amend its constitution and give women 33% reservation in its organizational structure. We will now proceed to give youth more prominence in the party. In this context, it will be my effort to try and involve more and more youth in the coming elections.
Many northeastern states are victims of the shortsighted policies of the Congress. In addition to trying to resolve the Bangladeshi problem in Assam, the central government is not able to take any effective steps for improving the conditions in Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. We are part of the coalition government in both Meghalaya and Nagaland. The northeastern states account for a total of 26 Lok Sabha seats. Given the misrule of the Congress in the other states of the northeast, I am hopeful, that in cooperation with the various political parties there, we would be able to perform well.
Friends, the festival season will begin in about 18 to 20 days. In India, many festivals are celebrated during the months of October-November. Alongwith them, the celebration of democracy i.e. time for elections is also approaching. Elections in Jammu and Kashmir are before us. After that in the month of November, elections in many important states would take place, and thereafter within a few months, elections to Lok Sabha are slated to take place. We should collectively try and make the results of these elections similar to our festivals.
Today, in seven states the Bharatiya Janata Party is in government on its own and has coalition governments with its allies in five states. The BJP has the largest number of scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and woman legislators in the country. On the one hand while we are expanding politically, on the other hand our social and political responsibilities are also increasing. The people no longer have any expectations from the Congress.
The forthcoming elections of the legislative assemblies in many states are of importance to us. In three states, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan we have our own state governments. The governments of Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh, Smt. Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan and Dr. Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh have done many important public welfare works which have benefited the people. The need of the hour today is to ensure that these developmental activities reach the people. For this, all the karyakartas and leaders of the party should work with full dedication and commitment.
We often recite the song, ‘Desh hame deta hai sabkuch; hum bhi to kuch dena sikhe’ (The nation gives us everything, we should also learn to give back something to the nation). Today there is lack of people who can give back to the nation. This is a matter of concern. Today there is an urgent need of people who can give back to the country. In such a difficult situation, people only have hope from the BJP. They want to see the BJP different from other parties. Therefore, our primary concern has to rise to the expectations of the people.
It gives me pleasure to say that the work of the organization is fast spreading throughout the country through the various Morcha’s and cells. The state units are also fully active. Particularly in those states where elections are due in the months of October and November, awareness programmes are continuing both at the levels of the government as well as the organisation. Be it the issue of the destruction of Sri Ram Setu or the Shri Amarnath land dispute or the purchase of MPs during the trust vote in Parliament, through the organizational setup we have been able to run nationwide programmes. The BJYM’s Yuva Kranti Rally, Bhandaphor Rally in the various states, Yuva Jodo Abhiyan in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were successfully organised. In context of the Vijay Samkalp Rally, effective programmes were organised at Raurkela in Orissa and at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. In Chhattisgarh, the Vikas Yatra has been successful while in Madhya Pradesh the Jan Aashirvad Rally is successfully proceeding. In Rajasthan also there have been many successful rallies and programmes at the booth level. The Satta Parivartan Rally in Jammu and the successful Mahila Sammelan of the Minority Morcha were in the news. Be it the Traders Cell, CA Cell, Medical Cell, Media Cell, Ex-Servicemen Cell, Investors Cell, NGO Cell or the Kisan Morcha have all been organising effective programmes in their respective areas. Even though the central government has not yet convened the Parliament session in its attempt to evade the people, the BJP is however, with the support of the people, continuing with our struggle on the streets. The karyakartas of the party have played an important role in the expansion of the BJP and will also do so in the future. That is why we are considered as a party of Karyakartas.
The process of constituting booth committees is continuing. Many states have already sent the CDs of their booth committees. By further expediting this process, we need to complete the formation of booth committees in all the states before the elections.
Friends, the manner in which the UPA has lost the faith of the people over the last four and a half years, clearly indicates that the people have made up their minds for change. We all have to be ready to contribute our offerings in this Yagya of change. Our goal is clear. Our resolve is to win. Therefore, I am fully confident, that the future will be ours, and the great personality, who stands before us and the entire nation, with the consent of respected Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, as the prime ministerial candidate, Shri Lal Krishna Advani will definitely become the Prime Minister of the country. Advaniji is not only a ray of hope for all of us but the entire country is also expectantly looking at him. Come, let us all collectively move ahead towards establishing a golden future and prosperity of India.
Friends, immediately after the elections to these states, the environment will be for the Lok Sabha elections. Therefore, the time has now come to prepare ourselves to tirelessly work in the coming months with the resolve that we will rest only after forming our governments in these states and at the centre. I am well aware of your capabilities. You have the capacity to achieve even the most difficult of tasks.