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Indore to see BJP in search of new friends, renewed hope

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 17:58

Indore: After missing the bus for the second
successive time in the Lok Sabha polls, BJP is putting its act
together at the key meet here by formally ratifying the
presidentship of Nitin Gadkari, the youngest ever party chief
whose immediate task is to make the organisation effective and
broaden the NDA.

The meeting of the National Executive and the National
Council is important for the march forward of the main
opposition as it is the first such meet after BJP`s shock
defeat in the May 2009 Lok Sabha elections that saw Congress-
led UPA shaking off the opposition challenge once again.

Since then, the BJP has taken a number of steps including
bringing in 52-year-old Gadkari from Maharashtra to the
centre-stage and making Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley Leaders
of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha
respectively.

The changes are being seen as a generational shift in the
major opposition with party veteran L K Advani, 83, being made
the Parliamentary Party Chairman, a move that indicates that
he has taken a backseat.

The emergence of Gadkari, Swaraj and Jaitley as the new
power trio has come at a time when the ruling Congress has
seen that a young Rahul Gandhi has come to the fore and become
the key leader in the ruling alliance along with Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Indore is important for the BJP as it is expected to mark
the beginning of a new strategy to reach to the people with
Gadkari, a leader with a management background, making it
known that his priority was to approach the Schedule Caste,
Schedule Tribe, Minorities and Other Backward Classes.

Gadkari, who has declared that he plans to increase the
BJP vote share by 10 per cent to relegate Congress to the
second position, has also sought to bring a new culture in the
party by telling workers that they should work more and talk
less.

The message is primarily to party leaders at various
levels whose approaching the media too often has turned
counter-productive and has laid bare the problems within the
party.

In fact, the emergence of Gadkari, a newcomer to national
politics, due to the blessings of RSS is being seen as a way
to curb the D-4, the four Delhi leaders: Swaraj, Jaitley,
former president M Venkaiah Naidu and general secretary Ananth
Kumar, who were said to be working at cross purposes which had
not gone down well with the RSS.

Gadkari has played a unifying role against the backdrop of
intense differences among the top brass when his predecessor
Rajnath Singh was at the helm.

His presidential address and the political resolution are
expected to indicate BJP’s strategy for winning new friends to
make the party-led NDA strong.

BJP`s strained relations with long-time ally Shiv Sena
over `Mumbai for all` is likely to cast a shadow over the
meet.

The party does not want to lose Shiv Sena while being wary
of antagonising another trusted ally JD(U) in Bihar,
especially when the latter is going to face the electorate
later this year.

The conclave is being held at a juncture when the common
man is facing the brunt of price rise and terror has raised
its head yet again with a blast in Pune and talks with
Pakistan was being resumed later this month.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 17:58

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