Monday, April 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

‘Hindutva’ agenda put on hold
Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

Panjim, April 14
The three-day session of the Bharatiya Janata Party National Executive ended this afternoon with party President K. Jana Krishnamurthi making a determined effort to underplay the aggressive ideological “Hindutva” statements of the top leadership in the wake of the TDP threat to withdraw support to the Vajpayee government.

The aggressive ‘Hindutva’ agenda has been kept on hold till the time the political scene gets cleared in Delhi as the BJP high command would not like to be projected as a party which had wrecked the boat of the NDA government and plunged the country into another political crisis.

Addressing mediapersons on the concluding session and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s address, Mr Krishnamurthi studiously avoided all questions on the issue of Hindutva, saying the party was bound by the common NDA agenda of governance.

The National Executive and the party top leaders made no bones about the return of the BJP to ‘Hindutva’. Top BJP leaders like Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Home Minister Lal Krishan Advani here in Goa chose to shed inhibitions and made clear to all, including the NDA allies, that sharing power was a two-way street.

While Mr Vajpayee chose to lash out at Muslims for “not wanting to live together with other communities and wanting to propogate their viewpoint with terror and faith”, an aggressive Advani emboldened his party leaders telling them that they “need not adopt needlessly an apologetic posture in respect of ideological beliefs”.

This was music to the ears of all those who had been waiting to pounce upon their political adversaries, particularly when the crop of the Gujarat experiment is about to yield rich electoral dividends in the coming Assembly elections.

By giving a clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and asking him to seek a fresh popular mandate, the BJP high command has given official sanction to the “Modi model”.

Not only the National Executive sent a strong signal, by rejecting Mr Modi’s resignation offer by adopting an unanimous resolution and asking him to seek a fresh mandate, but Mr Vajpayee’s assertion that he would, if necessary go for a trial of strength in the Lok Sabha to prove majority was nothing but an outright rejection of the Telugu Desam’s demands.

The latest strategy, approved here, is to work in a direction which should ensure that the Vajpayee government did not fall immediately. 

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