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BJP releases Atal-centric Vision Document
Walks tight rope on Hindutva
Satish Misra and S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 30
The BJP today released its “Vision Document”, which promises the moon and does a tight balancing act to retain its traditional Hindutva constituency in a tone and language that does not alienate its friends and allies.

The multi-coloured 48-page document is aimed at wooing the electorate without apparently committing anything, as it does not put any burden on the NDA government which shall continue to be guided by the common manifesto.

Releasing the document on Ram Navami, the BJP President M. Venkaiah Naidu said that “the Congress era in Indian politics is over and the BJP’s era has begun” which will make India “a developed nation and a great power”.

Far removed from the fury of its Palampur resolution through which the party took up the Ram Temple agitation, the document emphasises on resolving the issue through dialogue and starting a new chapter in Hindu-Muslim ties.

“We believe that dialogue and a negotiated settlement in an atmosphere of mutual trust and goodwill are the best way of achieving this goal,” it said.

Interestingly, the party avoids any direct reference to its core issue of abrogating Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and alludes to it merely as “certain transient and temporary provisions.”

“While recognising that the Constitution provides for certain transient and temporary provisions for Jammu and Kashmir, we believe that the immediate challenge before the Centre and the states is to involve all sections of society in eliminating terrorism, accelerating economic development and strengthening popular governance that can provide people-friendly administration,” it said.

“The imperative for security operations has to be balanced with respect for human rights. We are committed to ensuring early return of Kashmiri Pandits and other displaced people to their native places,” it added.

On uniform civil code, the BJP while asserting that the Constitution calls for the enactment of a uniform civil code, calls for social and political consensus before its enactment.

Hoping that this “Vision Document” will succeed in persuading the electorate to give an absolute majority to the BJP and a two-third majority to the NDA, Mr Naidu said that the Congress party’s “wrong policies” and “long misrule” had prevented the country’s development all these years.

The document, which heavily banks on the charisma of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and displays 54 photographs of his long political career, also carries picture of the Father of the Nation and main inspiration behind the first non-Congress government at the Centre.

While the glossy pages do show Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani once, Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi’s photograph is suprisingly missing.

Curiously, the Father of the Nation, who for long years used to be an anathema to the RSS-inspired BJP, is being used to grab the political space that was occupied by the Congress.

Not only Mahatma Gandhi’s picture figures twice in the document, the BJP President took pains to refer to the Father of the Nation, saying that the party’s vision to bring “Ramrajya” would not materialise till “Gramrajya” did not arrive.

“The BJP considers Mahatmaji’s thought of “Ramrajya” being incomplete without “Gramrajya” as a central focus of the document”, he said.

The document, which covers a wide range of issues ranging from cultural nationalism, economic reforms, second Green Revolution, said the party was committed to ‘Swadeshi’, the philosophy of India First, and to the path to self-reliance.

“Swadeshi means faith in indigenous institutions and a strong belief that the future of India must be secured by Indians themselves,” it said.

“The party’s concept of Swadeshi was “a strong, efficient and high-growth Indian economy, in which Indian products, services and entreprenuers dominate the domestic and global markets,” it said.

On globalisation, the party was of the view that to reduce the risks and challenges of globalisation and to enhance its opportunities and gains, it is imperative to bridge the divide between developing and developed economies.

Pointing that a big shift was taking place in the global economy, the document said that India should be prepared to accelerating this process by further reforming the economy, modernising the infrastructure, enriching India’s human resources and augmenting its capabilities in science and technology.

Emphasising on the need for second Green Revolution to increase farm productivity, achieve crop diversification, reduce waste and add value at every stage in the food chain linking farmer to consumer, the BJP promises that it will continue to give a boost to dairy, poultry and other food processing industries.

“We will promote horticulture, floriculture, sericulture, and the cultivation of bio-fuels, medicinal plants and bamboo in a big way. Comprehensive reform of agricultural markets, free movement of agricultural goods throughout the country, setting up of cold storages, godowns and grain banks; intensification of technology transfer and agricultural extension services and support to organic farming will be given priority in the Second Green Revolution,” it said.


Sehwag all for BJP

New Delhi, March 30
Virender Sehwag will campaign for BJP leader and Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma in the Lok Sabha poll, the player’s father said today.

“Yes, Virender will travel with Mr Verma and will ensure he gets re-elected with a huge margin,” Krishan Kumar Sehwag told a news channel.

Mr Verma visited Sehwag’s home here this morning to congratulate his family. — PTIBack


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