Monday, August 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BJP not diluting identity: Laxman
Draft resolution backs disinvestment policy
From Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

NAGPUR, Aug 27 — The two-day session of the National Executive of the BJP began here this morning with the new party President, Mr Bangaru Laxman, defending the Vajpayee government.

In his exceptionally long presidential address running into 47 pages, Mr Laxman told party cadres in clear words that there was no room for doubts and criticism as “the experience of the past two-and-a-half years of the NDA government at the Centre has clearly vindicated the correctness of our stand”.

“Nobody can deny today that the BJP has gained, and not lost, by adopting” the common agenda of the NDA, Mr Laxman asserted, adding that, “This is not a compromise that we have made merely to secure or retain power”.

Dismissing charges often levelled even by own party leaders that the BJP was losing or diluting its identity, the newly installed President said, “the doubts and criticism on this score are unfounded”.

“The basic identity our party is shaped by our unflinching commitment to nationalism, the integrity and idealism of our leaders and workers, and the discipline and cohesiveness in our organisation”, Mr Laxman said, adding that “these have always distinguished the BJP from other parties, and will continue to do so”.

Promising to rework the relationship between the BJP and the Indian Muslims, Mr Laxman quoted Deendayal Upadhyaya, who had said, “Muslims are the flesh of our flesh and the blood of our blood”.

In the past two decades, our party has successfully reached out to Dalits, adivasis, and OBCs. Muslims are the last major section of Indian society that we need to reach out to, he said.

Brushing aside criticism from the Sangh Parivar, the draft economic resolution before the council totally backed the centre’s public sector disinvestment policy.

Speaking on the resolution, Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha refuted criticism on disinvestment saying that it was needed for toning up the performance of PSUs and debt-servicing.

The resolution also called for strong measures for protection of small scale sectors and put forward a 13-point action plan to streamline the economy.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister L.K. Advani today said India would emerge victorious in the proxy war launched by Pakistan.

India was fighting the fifth war, a proxy war, against Pakistan in the last 20 years, he said addressing a public meeting on the sidelines of ongoing national council session.

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