Bharatiya Janata PartyNational Executive25th & 26th June 2007Parliament Annexe, New DelhiPresidential Speech
Friends,After Lucknow, today on 25th June we are meeting in Delhi. During this period, on the political front we have witnessed many events. In Delhi, the Municipal Corporation elections took place. In the same period, assembly elections in five states took place. Thereafter, Lok Sabha and assembly by-elections also took place in many states. On account of these elections, this meeting got delayed. This National Executive meeting will continue for the next two days. Over the next couple of days, while we will analyse the results of the recently concluded elections, we will also deliberate on the strategy for the forthcoming elections to some state assemblies. In this meeting, in addition to the discussions on the political and agricultural resolutions and the Ram Setu project, we will also prepare and finalise the framework of launching effective programmes against the UPA Government at the centre, which has completely failed on every front. Today’s Occasion Friends, it is noteworthy that the month of June is remembered for many reasons in Indian politics. We observe 23rd June as Martyrs Day. On this day, lodged in a temporary jail in Srinagar, Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee sacrificed his life fighting for the integration of Kashmir. Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was the founder of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. Post independence, he was one such leader who unequivocally said that Kashmir is an inseparable part of India and no one can stop us from visiting it. When he visited Kashmir without a permit, the then government had him arrested and jailed, where he eventually lost his life. The Jan Sangh was in its infancy. One can clearly imagine how our leadership must have felt at that time. Despite this, the Jan Sangh’s development did not pause and it kept on marching ahead. Dr Mukherjee was the country’s first post independence leader who sacrificed his life for a national cause. Let us reverentially remember him and offer our tributes on behalf of the entire nation. In the month of June, in 1975, on this very day i.e. on 25th June, the Prime Minister of the then Congress Government imposed emergency and attempted to murder democracy and the constitution. We can never forget that black day of independent India. For 19 months the atrocities of emergency continued unabated and the majority of social and political workers were sent to jail. Censorship was imposed on the press. Personal independence was severely restricted. The nation had never witnessed such a horrific misuse of power. Friends, even in such insurmountable circumstances, our workers firmly continued working. They launched a people’s awareness programme. They preferred going to jail rather than offer an apology. The situation changed and in 1977 for the first time the Congress Party, which believed itself to be invincible, lost power at the centre. On the 32nd anniversary of the struggle against emergency, let us today offer tributes to the late Jai Prakash Narain and all those political and social leaders who are no longer amongst our midst. After this, a time came when on the issue of dual membership, the erstwhile Janata Party left us with no option but to leave the party. We were told to either snap our ties with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh or else leave the Janata Party. At this delicate time, our leadership clearly said that our relationship with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh is from the time of inception. Our relationship with the Janata Party has only developed recently. Left with no option, on 6th April 1980, our erstwhile leadership of the Jan Sangh came together and founded the BJP. After the formation of the BJP, the 1984 Lok Sabha elections were the first general elections of the country. The BJP won a mere two seats. We can well imagine that as a new entity what must have been our situation? Despite this, the BJP did not stop and kept on marching ahead. We had to face numerous difficulties. But whenever we faced challenges, we tried our best to convert them into opportunities. And on many occasions we were also successful. Our Political Objective Friends, why are we in politics? Why did Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee create the Bharatiya Jan Sangh? On such occasions, it is important to reflect on these questions. We should carefully read the speech delivered by Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee on 21st October 1951 after founding the Jan Sangh. Here, I would like to quote an excerpt from his speech. “At the outset I would like to make it clear that the Bharatiya Jan Sangh is not being formed only for contesting the forthcoming elections. Undoubtedly, elections are important, and wherever possible, we will make our candidates contest. Elections enable us in taking our ideology to the people and will also assist us in giving our organization a pan Indian identity and strong foundation. No matter what the outcome of the elections, our organization even thereafter will remain ceaselessly progressive and will carry the message of hope and amity to all sections of society. Simultaneously it will attempt to make independent India’s reconstruction both pleasant and prosperous.” Therefore, we should not be adversely affected by circumstances and need to ceaselessly move in the direction of our core objective. The Recently Concluded Assembly Elections After the conclusion of the last national executive meeting and in the midst of the current national executive, assembly elections have been held in Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and Goa. We won the elections in two states, namely, Uttarakhand and Punjab. Thereafter, we won the prestigious Delhi Municipal Corporation election. Then came the Uttar Pradesh elections. The election results there were both unexpected and shocking. In Goa also we did not get the expected success. The cycle of victory and defeat is continuous. No matter what the circumstances, we have to constantly keep working. With honesty, we must attempt to eliminate our weaknesses. Each one of us who is sitting here, every one is well aware of their organizational and political realities. We need to reflect on how we can strengthen our inner weak links. By devoting ourselves to self restraint, extreme hardwork, the urge for struggle, full faith in the organization, together we need to move ahead with coordination. We have to protect the organization from ego, being self-centric, indisciplined, and all those factors because of which politics is losing its respect in society. We have lost the election but not our determination. When in a span of 15 years, we have displayed the capability of coming to power at the centre from just two seats in the Lok Sabha, currently in five states we have our own BJP governments. And in five states we have coalition governments. For the first time in history, in 10 states either we or our coalition is in power. We are bestowed with respected leadership and an extremely rare team of workers. On policy and principles, we are staunch nationalists. Instead of disappointment, we should treat the Uttar Pradesh results as an opportunity to make us more alert and stable. While saying all this I am not trying to say that we should not evaluate the results. We have infact honestly analysed the results. Numerous factors have been identified. And all of us have to jointly work in eliminating them. Friends, it is worth noting that in Uttar Pradesh merely 15 days later, the BJP won the Khaga (District Fatehpur) Assembly seat by-election by over 8,000 votes while the BSP came third. It is also worth highlighting that the BJP had never won this seat earlier. Political analysts are also expressing surprise over the result. In my opinion, this clearly indicates that our support base does exist in every village; we need to ignite it and expand it further.Friends, after the defeats in Uttar Pradesh and Goa, our adversaries have started saying that the BJP is shrinking. We should not be affected by such statements. It is natural that when people congratulate us for winning, then they will also criticize us for defeats. I believe that this is the time for introspection, unity and returning to our task with self confidence. At this time we need to carry everyone along, and after removing our weaknesses once again march towards victory. The Uniqueness of Our Organization I accept that over the last six months, on account of the constant elections and by-elections, we could not lay the requisite emphasis on organizational matters. Over the next few months, our priority will be on organizational issues. Our organization has always been viewed for having a distinct and unique identity. I will not hesitate in saying that over the last few years our image as a party with a difference has been affected. This is a subject of concern for all of us. The expansion of the organization and our influence, irrespective of whether we are in power or in opposition, cannot take place at the cost of compromising the ideology for which Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and Pt Deendayal Upadhaya founded the party. In politics, we also need to protect ourselves from the overall decline in moral values. Friends, it is imperative to enhance the feeling of mutual faith, collectiveness, credibility, principles, spirit of accommodation and coordination within the organization. Over the last few years, politics in India has witnessed a decline in all these areas. At our own level, it is important that we all work in this direction. One finds that what should be shared internally with the leadership is instead reaching the party through the media. We will always need the required exposure in the media, but we would certainly not like our party, leaders and workers to become victims of unnecessary controversy. The problems of the public can be solved only with sensitivity and effort and not through propaganda. We need not become instruments of the competitive struggle of the media. We need to follow the established do’s and don’t’s of public life, both in letter and spirit. Self Discipline Friends, we have to be conscious of self discipline. At our individual level, we need to adhere to established ideals and maintain dignity. We have to sacrifice our personal egos. It is imperative that we should be willing to bear personal displeasure in the larger interest of the organization. I can clearly recall that Advaniji used to often say that no party has the capability of defeating the BJP; if we are defeated it is only because of our own shortcomings. We have to appreciate the agony behind Advaniji’s statement. His agony not only symbolises our own organizational view but also reflects the feelings of millions of our committed workers. Our constant goal has been to ensure that globally India gets its due recognition and is respected in consonance with its rich cultural heritage. Our cherished aim has been to raise the standards of living of the common people by taking development to newer heights. We have to live upto the people’s expectations and win their confidence and support. Given the constant decline of values in public life, this is an extremely difficult task and we have to work hard in this direction. I am fully confident that we will succeed in this endeavor. BJP’s Governance Friends, we have witnessed how India achieved international recognition in the six years of NDA governance under the leadership of Shri Atalji. Under his able leadership, India could achieve a new political, economic and global prominence. Atalji set the vision of establishing India as a developed nation by 2020 and during his regime India made giant strides in this direction. India’s national pride enhanced. The world acknowledged our strength; one small example we can recall is after the Pokhran test, when the developed nations said that they would not help us in any way, then Atalji as Prime Minister clearly stated that we are not dependent on anyone. We are capable of standing on our own feet. And in those six years we were able to become self reliant. Under Atalji’s able leadership, India started emerging as a capable and powerful nation and one felt that our commitment of making India a developed country by 2020 would definitely materialize into reality. The BJP has returned to power in many states. Our party has enjoyed repeat terms in Rajasthan and Jharkhand. In Orissa we were re-elected alongwith with our coalition partner. In Gujarat, we have won successive elections and our government has already completed a decade in power. Recently, Shri Narendra Modi achieved the distinction of becoming the longest serving Chief Minister of the state. This is a major achievement for us. During this period, the Gujarat Government has established new records of development in the state. Our governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are also performing well and are acknowledged for their good administration and for undertaking fast paced developmental activities. Our recently formed government in Uttarakhand is also marching ahead in the same direction.Three Years of the UPA Government The UPA government has completed three years in office. In these three years, the UPA government has not taken any steps by which one can say that India would become a developed nation by 2020. And this is because an alliance formed by opportunistic and leftist parties has only made the UPA government at the centre fail on every front and prove to be completely directionless. Today there are serious questions on critical issues such as India’s global standing, strategic security, internal security, nuclear sovereignty, economic growth, food security, energy security, and several other issues including suicide by farmers, increasing inflation and terrorism. The national scene today has been so drastically affected that our vision of establishing India as a developed nation by 2020 appears to have shattered and is withering away. Even more disconcerting is how the UPA government has devised a dangerous policy where the authority of the Prime Minister and other important positions have in reality been vested elsewhere. The most dangerous outcome of this policy is that the accountability of governance is not vested in that person who is the real power centre. The use of power without accountability has serious future ramifications. Price Rise Under this government, price rise has made the life of the common man extremely difficult. The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that a senior minister of the government had to publicly state that the UPA government is not a government for the common man. There is no coordination between the coalition partners. The UPA government’s short sightedness is seriously impairing development. The UPA government has completed three years. The wrong decisions of the government have only led to a massive piling up of problems all over the country. Chaos is prevalent everywhere. The two basic national problems that have become a matter of serious concern for the people are uncontrollable price rise and increasing terrorism. On the one hand, income levels are not increasing and on the other hand prices of all essential commodities have increased by 25 to 30 percent. Instead of providing relief to the common man, the hand of the Congress is only causing misery. In stark contrast to the overflowing food stocks under the NDA, for the first time, after eight years, the country is forced to import wheat, foodgrains, pulses and other food items. In addition to price rise, rampant corruption is weakening the country. Over the past three years, the Food for Oil scandal in Iraq, Scorpion Submarine scandal, War Room Leak scandal, Quattrochhi and many other deals have exposed the real face of the UPA government. Economic Policy Apart from price rise, the UPA government has also created numerous problems in the area of economic policy. The rate of interest of housing and other loans for the middle class and urban poor are constantly increasing. Even farmers have not got any relief on interest rates for agricultural loans. What to speak about relief on interest rates for agricultural loans, the Finance Ministry is infact now imposing new rules on the farmers which will only add to their cup of woes. The Finance Ministry has passed a special act called the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act under which the bank can attach the assets of those business establishments that take loans, but instead of repaying them, seek to tangle the repayment process in court cases. Under the act, in case of any dispute between the bank and the borrower, the bank has the power to first attach their assets and thereafter the issue can be resolved between the parties. The NDA government had kept farmers outside the purview of this act. However, the UPA government has made efforts to include even farmers under this act. In Parliament, in response to a question, the Agriculture Minister had stated that he had no information on this issue. However, after only a few days, on 17th May 2007, the Finance Ministry issued a notification and brought regional rural banks under the scope of the SARFAESI Act. This clearly demonstrates the insensitive attitude of the government’s economic policies towards farmers. Such policies can lead to an increase in the number of cases of farmer suicides. Therefore, we urge the government to immediately consider excluding farmers from the purview of this act of the Finance Ministry. Even today, 90 percent of the workers in the country work in the unorganized sector. Banks do not have any substantive loaning facilities for such a large section of people. India’s stock exchange has today emerged as one of the important exchanges of the world. In the recent past, the share market has witnessed several sharp rise and falls. In this context, many economic experts, the Reserve Bank and regulatory authorities like SEBI have expressed concern over the adverse effect of funds coming into the market via the “Participatory Note” or PN route. Between January 2006 and January 2007, there has been an increase of 70% in the quantum of funds coming through the PN route. Even the National Security Advisor has expressed apprehensions about terrorist funds getting diverted to the Indian stock market through this route. Despite such serious implications, the central government has so far not initiated any steps in this direction. We demand that the central government regulates the flow of funds coming into the stock market through the PN route. FarmersFriends, today the country’s farmers are highly burdened. The problems of helpless farmers are forcing them towards suicide. The cycle of suicides has not abated. I charge the UPA government that where on the one hand they have completely failed in finding solutions to the problems of the farmers, on the other hand they cannot escape their responsibility for farmers suicides. Agriculture has greater connotations beyond farming; it represents our culture. Farmer suicides denote a clear threat towards our cultural ethos. We need to strengthen the voice of the farmers and launch a crusade for their betterment. According to one estimate, about 58 percent of the farmers in the country own either one or just over one hectare of land. They survive close to the poverty line. Some of the government policies have only exacerbated the problem further. For example, this year the government has announced a Minimum Support Price for cotton in the Vidharba region at Rs 1760 per quintal whereas the Maharashtra government in its report has said that the cost of production is around Rs 2250 per quintal. Various media reports have also highlighted that wheat has been purchased from local farmers at just over Rs 900 per quintal whereas the government is importing wheat from foreign companies at Rs 1200 per quintal. In this national executive we are not only introducing a resolution on agriculture but also plan to initiate detailed discussions with subject experts on the problems confronting the agricultural sector. Youth How is it possible for India to progress if the youth of the country remains uneducated and unemployed? 40 percent of the country’s population is between the ages of 13 and 35. Two thirds of this population lives in the villages. The government does not have a policy for this large and energetic segment of our population. We need to better utilize their energy. We need to creatively make them use their abilities. We need to identify new job opportunities for them. We need to halt the migration of youth from the rural areas. Eventhough the various programmes of the central government for the unemployed youth are inadequate, it is worth noting that the BJP ruled states are leading in their proper implementation. This clearly exemplifies the BJP’s commitment about providing proper opportunities for the youth. We are deeply concerned the nation’s biggest reservoir of energy. Both at the political and social level, we need to effectively make use of them. Youth is the base of our organization. They learn about democracy at this level. They learn about the party’s ideology. They actively participate in various programmmes. Infact, many of our party programmes are successfully moving ahead on account of our young leadership. It is our priority to ensure that we motivate the youth towards our ideology and programmes. Appeasement The UPA government is compromising national unity over the politics of minority appeasement. The creation of the Sacchar Committee, reservation on the basis of religion, the agitation against the singing of Vande Mataram and the Prime Minister’s statement that muslims should have the first claim over resources are among the numerous instances by which the government has already started harming national unity. Now the government is devising new ways for appeasement that one has never seen before. The government is also trying to paint poverty in communal tones. The policy of banks prioritizing disbursal of loans for the poor belonging to the minority community, is not only socially dangerous, but is also without economic foundation. Analysis of the data of the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) does not reflect any noteworthy disparity in the 2004 and 2005 average annual family incomes of both hindu and muslim families. The BJP believes that the poor should not be differentiated on communal lines. Even beyond this, the Finance Ministry has recently decided to give scholarships only to minority students in premier higher educational institutions like the IITs, IIMs and AIIMS. And for this, the government has already made a provision of Rs 761 crores in the 11th Five Year Plan. The government’s decision to grant scholarships in these prestigious higher education institutions in not based on the financial or economic condition of the students but instead on their religious identity. These new and astounding experiments of minority appeasement by the UPA government can lead to future social unrest. North-East India Under the NDA, we began to reverse the traditional sense of alienation that was prevalent in parts of north-east India. A comprehensive developmental plan and financial package coupled with a tough approach on insurgency helped the region to rejoin the national mainstream. Unfortunately, today virtually the entire north east is in the grip of insurgency and illegal immigration from Bangladesh. This needs to be reversed. Insurgency has to be firmly dealt with, developmental activities enhanced and the ethnic identity of the local population and rich bio-diversity of the region has to be preserved. All Sections of Society We must try to bring each and every section of society, be it the forwards, backwards, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, minorities or women, closer to the party. In order to attract the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes towards the party in larger numbers, we need to understand their specific problems. The party is committed to provide reservation for the SCs STs, and OBCs in minority institutions, which is currently denied. Our opposition parties are conspiring to keep the minorities at a distance from us by spreading misconceptions. It is unfortunate that some political parties indulge in the politics of minority appeasement for the sake of vote bank politics. The BJP views the minorities as citizens and not as mere vote banks. To ensure that over a period of time, the minority community is able to appreciate this aspect and to bring them closer to the party, the BJP Minority Morcha needs actively work in this direction. The party enjoys a vast support base among women. We are of the opinion that their proper representation in the legislature should be enhanced. For this, proper representation of women in the party needs to be enhanced. By raising issues that concern women, we improve our image. I believe that women deserve 33 percent reservation within the party organization. I am requesting the national executive to consider this issue in detail so that we can bring about the required change in our party’s constitution for reserving 33 percent representation for women. Future Programmes Friends, over the next three months we need to focus on strengthening and expanding the organizational base of the party. We have decided that from now on, we will treat the polling booth as our base and expand the organizational work accordingly. We are of the opinion that a team of workers should be formed at each booth. Without this, we will not be able to the make the organization effective or fast moving. Simultaneously, we need to launch a programme across the country. As part of a special membership drive, we need to increase our membership to 5 crore people. This must also include one crore youth and one crore women who should be made members of the party. We should make efforts to explain why only the BJP? We are in the process of printing a small booklet on this subject and during the mass contact programme, we will distribute this booklet to every household. We need to move in the direction of the villages. We need to prevent migration from the villages. We need to understand the problems of the villages and then find solutions to them. Neighbouring Countries In recent years, in virtually every country neighbouring India, extremist and terrorist forces have increased their presence. This includes the influence of the armed Maoists in Nepal, the activities of ULFA and other ISI supported groups in Bangladesh, the resurgence of the LTTE in Sri Lanka once again, the revival of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the long standing anti-India activities of Pakistan and also the resultant political turmoil in these countries. Undoubtedly, these activities that taking are place in our neighbourhood have an adverse impact on our own internal security and development. We are amazed that despite the existence of such a situation, one does not find the central government displaying the required diplomatic dexterity. With our other neighbour China, India’s diplomatic failure is becoming a matter of serious concern. Just prior to the visit of China’s President to India, the Chinese ambassador made objectionable statements about Arunachal Pradesh. We immediately criticized that statement and requested the government to give an appropriate reaction. However, the central government turned a deaf ear. Now the situation has reached such a point that recently an officer from Arunachal Pradesh, who was part of a delegation of central government officials visiting China, was not issued a visa by the Chinese embassy on the grounds that Arunachal is a part of China. Under such circumstances the Prime Minister proclaiming that China is one of our great neighbours is far from convincing. All these instances prove that India’s foreign policy in our own neighbourhood is not only ineffective but also a complete failure. We strongly criticize Government of India for not comprehensively addressing these issues that raise questions on our sovereignty. Foreign Policy Since the UPA government has come to power, there has been a complete reversal of our diplomatic successes that had been initiated by Shri Atalji. On numerous occasions, the party has clarified its position on the Indo-US Nuclear Deal. However, the central government is yet to take either the people or the Parliament into confidence about the details of this deal. Recently, two former Chairmen of the Atomic Commission had raised their apprehensions on the deal. According to experts, there are major differences between the statement of the Prime Minister to Parliament and the provisions of the Hyde Act as passed by the US Senate on the Indo-US Nuclear Deal. In context of the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, it is also worth highlighting the statement of Anil Kakodkar, Chairman of the Department of Atomic Energy, that within the next five years India has the capacity to increase its Uranium reserves and through Thorium refinement we can become self reliant to large extent in the area of nuclear energy. Therefore it is imperative that this deal should not compromise India’s nuclear sovereignty at any cost.In the near future, the US Secretary of State is expected to visit India. I demand that the central government before arriving at any conclusive decision with the US Secretary of State on the nuclear deal, should take both the parliament and opposition parties into confidence. Quattrocchi Issue The central government had already facilitated the Italian middleman Quattrocchi, the main accused in the Bofors case, to withdraw his payoff money. However, the government crossed all limits of decency when despite his arrest in Argentina, it not only failed in its attempt to repatriate him to India but also allowed the CBI to be demeaned by the local court there. On such legal matters, the CBI has a limited role to play. On such matters, the government is the final authority. A former director of the CBI has clearly mentioned in an article that prior to Quattrocchi’s arrest on 6th February in Argentina, the high level legal officials of the government had already given him a clean chit. Quattrocchi used this very clean chit to get such a strong decision in his favour by the court in El Dorado (Argentina). If this charge is true, then it reflects the shameful attempts of the government to help criminals. Election Process The Election Commission is a prestigious institution of the country. The Election Commission’s capability has been clearly demonstrated in the recently concluded elections of state assemblies and in particular the elections in Uttar Pradesh. However, an important aspect that is worth noting is the issue of low voter turnout, which is contrary to the core values of democracy. In my opinion, one reason for this is that despite holding valid voter identity cards, at many places people could not exercise their franchise. According to one estimate, about 80 lakh people belong to this category in Uttar Pradesh. I would suggest that the Election Commission should at least ensure that every persons name is included in the voter list. To prevent a repeat of this in the future, the Election Commission should not only treat this as a serious issue but also clearly fix responsibility in those cases where peoples names are missing from the voters list despite having valid voter identity cards.All over the county, one regularly witnesses some kind of election activity at short intervals in some state or the other. In some senses, India experiences almost a continuous process of electioneering. As a result of this, political parties are constantly focused on elections. Parties barely get the time to think about constructive social programmes and given the constant electioneering, electoral activities inadvertently shift the focus away from constructive political programmes. I request the Election Commission to invite all political parties for a discussion about whether we can devise a system whereby we can simultaneously hold elections for both the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. Such a system will help improve the environment for creating a healthy political structure and the country’s long terms developmental strategies.Ram SetuOver the last few months, a number of issues close to the hearts of the common people have come to the forefront. One such issue is the Ram Setu. The UPA government is seeking to destroy the ancient Ram Setu built by Lord Ram. We will discuss this issue in detail during the national executive.However, in this context, one thing that I would definitely like to state is that it is unfortunate the UPA government has rejected the views of various environmental experts, tsunami experts and other socio-economic experts and is going ahead with a project that will destroy an ancient symbol of our religion and culture. Ram Setu is not merely a structure that has been built in the sea and over which one can debate whether it is natural or man made. In reality, Ram Setu is a symbol of India’s ancient cultural heritage. Ram Setu is infact a bridge between India’s glorious past and great future. This bridge built by Lord Ram of Ayodhya at Rameshwaram is infact a bridge between the north and south of our country. Ram Setu symbolizes the transcendence of human spirit from the depths of demonic evils towards the heights of divine inspiration.Therefore, from every aspect, the protection of Ram Setu is a national responsibility and the BJP is committed towards this.The 150th Anniversary of India’s First War of IndependenceToday the country is observing the 150th anniversary of the first war of Independence of 1857. We offer our tributes to the main protagonist of this war Nanasahib Peshwa, Mangal Pandey the first person who laid down his life, Tantiya Tope, Rani Laxmi Bai, Veer Kunwar Singh, Begum Harjat Mahal, Bahadur Shah Zafar and all those countless known and unknown persons who willingly sacrificed their lives for independence. On this occasion, let us commit ourselves for defeating all those forces that are damaging the elements of nationalism. In the history of independent India, the BJP is a unique political party. It is unique not because of one or two factors; our uniqueness is on account of multiple factors.We are the only political party in independent India that has achieved maximum growth as a single entity. In terms of ideology, we too have achieved the maximum growth. We have given coalition politics the most effective and meaningful definition. We have led the most memorable and successful central government of the country.And we are fortunate to have Atalji, the most popular and greatest leader of the country. This year is memorable for another reason. This year, respected Atalji completes 50 years in Parliament. We are inspired by Atalji’s phenomenal political journey between 1957 and 2007, during which he won the confidence of millions of people and enabled the party to achieve such heights. He is the only political personality of the country who has been continually respected by the people throughout the last 50 years, irrespective of whether he has been in power or not. I am trying to highlight that whatever is required by a political party, we are indeed fortunate to possess all those capabilities. All we have to do is move ahead with full commitment. It is being said that for the next elections, we only need to prepare ourselves to benefit from the anti-incumbancy feelings prevalent against the UPA government. While I accept that we will undoubtedly benefit from the wrong policies of the UPA government, I would not like us to grow only on the basis of a negative vote but rather grow on positive foundations. Prior to this, in 1998 and 1999, people elected us on a positive mandate. I am confident that in the future also we will get a positive mandate and we will succeed in our vision of establishing India as a developed nation.