New Delhi: BJP on Sunday cautioned partymen against speaking out of turn on its prime ministerial nominee with its president Rajnath Singh saying some leaders have been "announcing" names virtually on a "daily basis" creating unnecessary controversy.
The party emphasised on the need for discipline and improving its image at a meeting of its office-bearers here to discuss the strategy and issues ahead of polls in six states and the Lok Sabha elections.
While the BJP top leadership maintained that the political situation prevailing in the country was strongly anti-Congress and favoured the main opposition, there were concerns that this opportunity may be frittered away due to the actions of some leaders.
Singh, who convened the meeting for the first time since he announced his team of office-bearers on March 31, said some leaders of the party have been speaking out-of-turn to the media and without being authorised to address the press.
He also said some party leaders have been "announcing" names of Prime Ministerial candidates "virtually on a daily basis" which created unnecessary controversy. This, he said, got highlighted diverting attention from the party`s achievements.
Singh`s comments against the backdrop of growing clamour in the BJP for projecting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate.
Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel also created a flutter with his remark yesterday that the next government at the Centre will be formed under L K Advani`s leadership.
The meeting was attended by Advani, BJP Parliamentary Party chief, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley, central office-bearers and presidents and general secretaries of the state units. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi also attended the meeting.
The party leadership felt Lok Sabha elections could be held anytime after November while polls were due in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Karnataka. Polls might also be held in Jharkhand which is under President`s Rule.
In his address, Advani said BJP had lost in 2004 due to "over-confidence" and there was a need for caution this time. Party workers should use their full potential and not become complacent, he said.
Advani said BJP should go to the polls with issues of
inflation, corruption and blackmoney which were three areas on which the UPA government should be voted out. The party should underscore "good governance, prudent politics and ideal image" as its strengths.
The BJP veteran enumerated achievements of the NDA government and said six crore jobs were created by it while UPA has only created 30 lakh jobs in nine years.
Jaitley ruled out the possibility of formation of a Third Front government. He also said Congress had done well in the 2009 elections in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan where it got a total of 160 seats. Now the situation is reversed there and a "washout" is staring at the Congress, he said.
Swaraj said that some of the achievements of the BJP governments in the states were not publicised well by the party. She specifically mentioned Madhya Pradesh in this regard.
Murli Manohar Joshi spoke on India`s relations with its neighbours, especially China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said there is political uncertainty in Pakistan and one will have to wait and see how the on-going elections play out there. He said China is cornering India by increasing its influence in neighbouring countries, including Nepal.
Talking to reporters later, party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said it was emphasised in the meeting that discipline and a strong organisation were BJP`s strengths. There is a need to make the organisation more robust at the booth level, he added.
BJP office-bearers also discussed plans for increasing party membership, future programmes like reaching out to the villages and households, and tailoring the strategy in different regions to meet local challenges.