Pushing hindutva to backseat, BJP plans to bet on pro-people planks

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi, Jan 28 | Updated: Jan 29 2008, 03:58am hrs
Showcasing its intent to bank on issues like leadership, women, farmer and its performance in party-ruled states while relegating core issues like Ayodhya, Article 370 and common civil code to the backburner, BJP at its national council meeting on Monday set out the agenda for next elections.

The partys pro-people planks in Gujarat and HP, where it was able to form governments, seem to have convinced the BJP that it could come to power without having to overtly depend on hindutva. The move to push core issues to the backseat, however, is also in line with the party's attempts not to raise discomfort levels of its allies in the NDA.

Taking cue from the Gujarat elections, the BJP appears to have found a new constituency for itself in the form of women and keeping this in mind, the party not only amended its constitution to incorporate 33% reservation for women at organisational level, most of its CMs talked about what all their respective governments had done for ameliorating the condition of girls and women in their respective states.

Demanding farm credit at 4% and loan waiver up to Rs 50,000, the party also adopted a resolution. Placing the resolution before the council, senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu also demanded that government should take steps to convert all private farm loans into public. If the present government does not take initiative in these direction, we will implement these when we come back to power, he said.

Knowing well that the partys traditional supports need some kind of emotive issues to be galvanised in its support, BJP president Rajnath Singh, however, sent a veiled Hindutva massage by raking up issues like internal security, Ram Setu and minority appeasement.

Singh said the word minority has to be redefined as he lashed out at the Government's minority appeasement policies. I request the government to legally define the term minority and also appropriately determine in what spheres it would be applicable, he said.

Meanwhile, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in indomitable style said, its the UPA governments soft approach that led tentacle of terror to spread across the country.

"Terrorists require arms, explosives, finance and communication to accomplish their dreaded tasks. We know, no terrorist manufacture AK-47 or RDX, they come from across the border and it falls under Centre's jurisdiction.

The party also criticised the Congress-led UPA government for its goof-up on Ram Setu in Supreme Court and pledged to fight out any attempt to implement "communal budgeting with 15% special allocation for minorities" and "reservation based on religion".

Though, the party made every attempt to project itself as a united force under the leadership of senior leader LK Advani, there were also dissenting voices, as Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje objected to Rajnath's suggestion that Modi be emulated. "How can one emulate other state, when conditions are different. Issues are different. I am encountering with caste issue, is this there in Gujarat. However, I assure the centrral leadership that last time we sent 21 MPs, this time it would be even more," she said.