M A I N   N E W S

Return to basics, BJP chief tells party cadre
No question of being apologetic about Hindutva
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 22
It is back to basics for the BJP with its president, Mr M Venkaiah Naidu, today calling upon the cadres to rededicate themselves to the party “ideology and idealism” and charged the Congress-led UPA Government of indulging in “competitive pseudo-secularism” which is dangerous for national security.

Asserting that the party has twin commitments — “cultural nationalism and development” —, Mr Naidu said “the BJP has always believed that Hindutva, Bharateeyata and Indianness are synonymous. Therefore, there is no question of being apologetic about Hindutva.”

Emphasising that the foremost task before the entire party organisation is to “rededicate ourselves to our ideology and idealism”, Mr Naidu said “what this mission is, and what this movement is, is something that our functionaries and karyakartas must internalise fully. It must be reflected in our thinking, communication and conduct”.

Referring to the recent police shootout incident in Gujarat in which four alleged terrorists were killed, Mr Naidu made a scathing attack against the UPA partners saying “pseudo secular parties and organisations are using this incident in their anti-BJP campaign and also trying to make it into a Hindu-Muslim issue.”

“They had the audacity not only to say that the attack on Akshardham was also stage-managed, but they are even in the forefront of organising bandhs in defence of the terrorists,” Mr Naidu observed.

During his hour long speech, Mr Naidu was highly critical about the non-inclusion of cross-border terrorism in the common minimum programme of the UPA. He took exception to the pledge of repealing POTA ignoring the continued threat of terrorism.

“This is a highly dangerous trend posing a threat to our national security, national unity and the country’s democratic system,” the BJP president warned.

Significantly, despite former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee alluding to the Gujarat riots being the reason for the party’s debacle in the recent Lok Sabha polls, Mr Naidu in his presidential address at the national executive meeting here listed complacency among workers and traditional voters coupled with local conditions as the reasons for the party’s poor show.

“As we examine the factors that contributed to our poor performance, it emerges that we were, perhaps, overconfident in our assessment of the situation. The damage due to complacency among our workers and traditional voters was, in several constituencies, compounded by the local situation.”

Mr Naidu said our party did not believe in blame game and finger-pointing but in the principle of collective responsibility, both in victory and defeat.

Emphasising that the party’s organisational philosophy can be encapsulated in one simple phrase “back to the basics”, Mr Naidu called for getting rid of the “virus of individualism”.

“Each one of us must realise that we are what we are because of the party. It is the party consciousness, party personality and party identity with which we should align our own individual consciousness, individual personality and the individual identity.”

Urging party workers to focus on the tasks ahead, Mr Naidu said “we have to identify the shortcomings and correct the lapses. We have to learn lessons from the past and move forward leaving the past behind.”

In this context, he asserted that the BJP was firmly in favour of further strengthening the National Democratic Alliance and its relationship with the supporting parties. “It is true that some allies left the NDA prior to the elections. In every single case they left on their own and we did not leave any of our allies.”

He disclosed that a draft working paper on “Tasks Ahead” will be discussed at the three-day meeting. At the same time, the party’s immediate task is to gear up for the electoral battle in the Maharashtra, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh, where Assembly elections are round the corner.

He also exhorted party workers to be prepared for a snap poll in Uttar Pradesh.

He underlined the need for grooming young leaders in the party and widen the party’s activities among farmers, rural poor, the Dalits and other backward communities. There was need to effectively articulate their problems and concerns and establish an emotional bond with them.

The national executive ratified the resolution adopted earlier by the BJP Parliamentary Party amending the party constitution whereby Mr Vajpayee assumed charge as the chairperson of the BJP Parliamentary Party.

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