Monday, October 22, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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Party-govt gap upsetting, says PM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 21
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said that the communication gap between the BJP and the government was needed to be addressed and asserted that there was absolutely no contradiction in strengthening the party while being a part of the NDA.


Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and BJP President Jana Krishnamurthy at the BJP national council meeting in New Delhi on Sunday. — PTI Photo

Senior BJP party members at their national council meeting in New Delhi on Sunday. — PTI photo

“Somewhere something is amiss...This is an example of growing distance between the party and the government...We have to look at it carefully,” Mr Vajpayee said addressing the special session of the BJP’s national council to mark its golden jubilee celebrations at Talkatora Stadium here.

An upset and apologetic Prime Minister, much to the discomfiture of party bigwigs including party president Jana Krishnamurthi, said there was a communication gap between the party and the government because of which he could not attend the flag-hoisting session in the morning.

“I was given the impression that my presence was needed only at the concluding function, so I prepared myself for it...This is a classic example of the communication gap between the party and the government,” he said.

“I am not blaming the party workers. But there is something amiss and it is very important to look at it carefully,” Mr Vajpayee added.

Asserting that a stable government was essential for the speedy development of the country, the Prime Minister said there were no differences among the NDA constituents and the ruling alliance was marching ahead tackling internal and external challenges.

“A stable government is needed to tackle internal and external challenges for the welfare of the people and we are marching ahead with our partners,” Mr Vajpayee said.

“When the NDA assumed power, people thought the government would not last but now they are convinced that it will continue,” he said, adding “but this is not enough. There has to be some more speed.”

Stating that there were no internal differences among the NDA partners, Mr Vajpayee said every constituent of the ruling alliance had sacrificed some of its programmes and even the BJP had done so. But, the Prime Minister emphasised that this should have no impact on the further strengthening of the party to meet various challenges.

The Prime Minister, however, preferred not to elaborate on the programmes sacrificed by the BJP for taking along the alliance partners.

With an eye on the forthcoming Assembly poll in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttaranchal, Mr Vajpayee exhorted the workers to be united and work for expanding the party’s base. This would not only help the party in the states but also make it achieve absolute majority in the Lok Sabha in the next poll.

The Prime Minister was confident that this would not affect the BJP-NDA relationship. Describing the two entities as complementary, he said there was no contradiction between strengthening the BJP and running the NDA.

Slipping into nostalgia, Mr Vajpayee spoke of the time when he had been asked to contest from three Lok Sabha seats simultaneously - Mathura, Lucknow and Balrampur. While he lost his security deposit in Mathura, his fairing in Lucknow was somewhat better while he had his maiden victory from Balrampur.

“It was a three-in-one experience,” Mr Vajpayee said amidst thunderous applause and laughter in the auditorium.

“Those were the days when there were not many aspirants. In any case, who would like to be a candidate for losing the security deposit? But I was one,” he said adding that “but now there are lot of aspirants”.

Mr Vajpayee asserted that the principle of human values enunciated by the late BJP President Deen Dayal Upadhyay was still the root principle for the party and it was committed to development, peace and progress.

Earlier, addressing the special session, the Home Minister and senior party leader L.K. Advani asked partymen not to air their grievances in public.

“Each one of us should take care not to make mistakes, not to call up friendly journalists and air our grievances such as not getting a ticket or a post. It does not behove us. It will only expose our weakness,” Mr Advani said.

“Only then, we would be able to do justice to our mission of taking the country from “Swaraj” (freedom) to “Suraaj” (good governance) without selfishness and making the 21st century India’s century,” he said, adding that even opposition parties had great expectations from the BJP and every effort should be made to live upto that.

“People want a real BJP with originalism,” he said, reminding the audience that prior to independence, even its arch rival, the Congress “was an ideal party with many qualities”.

Cautioning those in the government, Mr Advani said “politics itself is slippery, being in the government is far more slippery. One has to tread the path carefully.”

Referring to the three major phases the erstwhile Jana Sangh and the present BJP had passed through in the past 50 years, the Home Minister said the BJP would not have attained its present stature “if we had not taken part in the Ram Janambhoomi movement, though some people tried to distort the whole issue.”

The BJP’s growth, Mr Advani said, was “systematic and in a planned manner.”

BJP National President Jana Krishnamurti exhorted the party workers to collectively work for fulfilling the goals of the party.

In this process, he said individuality had no place in the BJP.

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Veterans missing at golden jubilee

New Delhi, October 21
The two star survivors of the Jan Sangh-Nanaji Deshmukh and Balraj Madhok — were conspicuous by their absence at the national council meeting of the BJP held here today to commemorate the golden jubilee of the formation of the sangh, the BJP’s parent organisation.

While Nanaji Deshmukh, a nominated MP in the Rajya Sabha, could not attend the ceremony due to “health reasons”, Mr Madhok who heads the present day Jan Sangh was not even invited.

The two leaders are among the few surviving personalities of the sangh who had attended the launch of the Jan Sangh 50 years ago.

According to party sources, Mr Madhok was not invited because he is not a member of the 1,200-strong national council. However, political observers here maintain that the BJP did not invite Mr Madhok as he had been a “sworn enemy” of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for years.

The veteran leader on his part was reportedly observing a “face saving” golden jubilee celebration of the sangh in Kanpur. UNI

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