BJP national executive overshadowed by Nitish`s anger

Last Updated: Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 23:34

Patna: Ahead of Assembly Polls in Bihar,
the BJP top brass Saturday began deliberations at its national
executive meeting to fine-tune election strategy, but the event
was overshadowed by ally and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
canelling a dinner for them angry over his photo being shown
alongside that of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The meeting, the first after the new office-bearers and
the national executive was constituted by party chief Nitin
Gadkari, was aimed at galvanising the JD(U)-BJP alliance in
the poll-bound state but appeared to have moved in quite the
opposite direction.

With stakes high for the party, Gadkari wanted partymen
to go the extra mile by trying to be "a self-start engine".

"Let us not wait for somebody to give orders and
instructions. Start working for redressing the grievances of
the people. Identify yourself with the masses, empathise with
their agonies and aspirations, work in the field," Gadkari
said.

As the Bhopal gas tragedy became a major issue putting
Congress on the defensive, BJP took the opportunity to attack
Congress.

"Bhopal gas tragedy is the saga of treachery,
back-stabbing and betrayal. No words are powerful enough to
condemn all those who mishandled this issue," Gadkari said.

On the Naxal menace, the party chief said BJP will
support any move by the government to effectively overcome the
Maoist threat and "yet the government appears confused and
unfocussed".

The executive also deliberated on the Maoist menace in
which Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Raman Singh and former CM
of Jharkhand Arjun Munda participated.

The executive adopted a resolution charging the Centre
with inept handling of the Maoist problem and said India
cannot afford to lose the battle as Naxals wanted to
"dismantle" the country`s parliamentary democracy.

Gadkari accused the government of misusing CBI in
Narendra Modi-led Gujarat and of targetting specific state
governments.

He demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into
the working of the premier investigative agency, dubbing it as
"Congress Bureau of Intimidation".

"While the nation is facing innumerable threats to its
internal security, government is forcing CBI to work for its
political designs. CBI has become a tool of intimidation. The
postmortem of its working is necessary," he said.

"The latest revelation by an officer in the context of
the Bhopal gas tragedy has reinforced our fear that Congress
is continuing this strategy to cow down opponents or to let
free from our law their acquaintances -- Ottavio Quattrochi and
Warren Anderson. This proves that their commitment is not for
the people of India," Gadkari said.

On the ticklish issue of inclusion of caste in Census,
BJP appeared to have reservations over its decision in its
support.

"We believe in a strong nation. We have put forth our
view in Parliament," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad
said.

Taking on the government on price rise issue, the party
wondered how the government headed by an economist Prime
Minister could fail to arrest the price spiral.

On foreign policy front, the party asked the government
to have a firmer policy emphasising that dialogue with
Pakistan was of no use as long as cross-border terrorism
continued.

The party chief spoke of a "very disturbing picture" with
regard the Chinese incursions into Indian territory.

Gadkari also expressed concern over the economic blockade
in Manipur and atrocities against Dalit families in Haryana.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 23:34

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