New Delhi: Ahead of Assembly elections in
five states, the BJP on Sunday used the birthday of its "tallest
leader" and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to
project itself as a party of the masses, reminding people of
good governance during the NDA regime.
"Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a statesman of international
stature. The country made progress under his able guidance,"
BJP President Nitin Gadkari said at a rally here, claiming
that the BJP-led NDA government had been free from any
corruption or scandal.
Vajpayee`s birthday was today celebrated by the party as
`Good Governance Day`, which was attended by several leaders
and party workers.
Gadkari claimed that Vajpayee was the only prime minister
who was in favour of keeping the top post under the ambit of
Lokpal. "Vajpayee was the only Prime Minister who said the PM
should be under Lokpal, when he was holding the post."
While pointing out how the UPA has botched up the
Telangana issue, the BJP chief said three news states were
carved out with ease during the NDA regime.
Gadkari also hailed the former prime minister for
undertaking steps for improving the conditions of roads and
electricity in villages besides welfare schemes for farmers.
Calling Vajpayee the "tallest political leader, best
Parliamentarian and best Prime Minister" in the country, BJP
leader Venkaiah Naidu pointed out the former`s skill of
handling a coalition of 23 parties, while he said Manmohan
Singh seemingly has a problem with a coalition of three
He also sought to take credit for the telecom revolution
in the country, saying the BJP-led NDA government was
responsible for making accessible mobile phone to practically
Blaming the UPA government for the weakening rupee, Naidu
said that during the NDA regime, the rupee was strong at Rs
34-36 against the US dollar.
He accused the government of being insensitive to the
common man`s problems due to inflation. "The people are
weeping, the government is sleeping," he said.
Naidu and BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra demanded that
the veteran leader should be conferred Bharat Ratna.
"Why is the government delaying in giving Bharat Ratna to
him? He should be given the award," said Naidu.
On Lokpal issue, senior leader Rajnath Singh said
corruption cannot be removed just with one institution. "One
institution cannot wipe out corruption. A strong leader at the
top, like Vajpayee is required to root out corruption," he
Vajpayee understood the ground realities of India, and
kept inflation under control even during war, he said.