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BJP hints at scrapping FDI in retail if voted to power
Party conclave begins; Gadkari tells leaders to brace for early polls
Ashok Tuteja & Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service

Surajkund, September 26
Accusing the Congress-led UPA government of institutionalising corruption, BJP President Nitin Gadkari today asked senior party leaders to pull up their socks and be prepared to face the Lok Sabha elections which could be held anytime. He also indicated that the BJP would roll back the FDI in multi-brand retail if it came to power at the Centre.

“The UPA regime is a sinking ship. Misgovernance and corruption have become the order of the day but this government is displaying arrogance and complete indifference towards the problems of the people,’’ he said, opening the BJP National Executive here this morning.

Briefing reporters on today’s meeting, BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said the economic and political resolutions were given final touches by the National Executive. The economic resolution would be moved by Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley while senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu would second it. The resolution is likely to come down heavily on the UPA government for the economic policies pursued by it.

The National Executive felt that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had proved to be the leader of the most corrupt government in the history of independent India. “Manmohan Singh is not an economist Prime Minister but a destructive Prime Minister,’’ it was observed by many leaders.

The BJP also discussed its strategy for the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and expressed the confidence that it would retain power in both states. According to Javadekar, the party was determined to break the jinx of the people of Himachal Pradesh not returning the same party to power for two consecutive terms. For Himachal, the party coined a slogan: “Kaho dil se, bhajpa phir se” (say it from the bottom of your heart, BJP will come back) while the slogan for Gujarat would be “Sabka saath, sabka vikaas” (everybody together in progress).

Asked about the political developments in Maharashtra, the BJP spokesperson said both the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were indulging in a drama since both were interesting in looting the state. “Both the alliance partners are indulging in massive corruption...therefore, the fight is about who gets to loot the state more.’’

When a reporter asked him for his reaction to Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s indication that his state would not oppose FDI in retail if the interests of traders were protected, Javadekar shot back: “You read (Chief Minister) Prakash Singh Badal’s statement.’’

Top BJP leaders and party chief ministers participated in today’s meeting, which is to be followed by the two-day National Council to be held tomorrow and the day after. Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj could not attend the meeting as she was indisposed while former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa kept away as he is said to be unhappy with the party leadership.

The National Council is expected to be attended by nearly 1,200 delegates who will ratify the party constitution to give a second term to Gadkari as party chief. It will also adopt resolutions on the economic situation and the political situation.

The BJP meets are being held a day after the Congress Working committee (CWC) attacked the main Opposition party for pursuing negative politics. The meets are significant since they are being held against the backdrop of the Trinamool Congress withdrawing its support to the UPA coalition in protest against the government’s decision to allow FDI in retail, hike diesel prices and ration LPG cylinders.

HP, Gujarat Election Strategy

  • The party is determined to break the jinx in HP of the same party not returning to power for two consecutive terms
  • For this, the party has coined a slogan: “Kaho dil se, bhajpa phir se” (say it from the bottom of your heart, BJP will come back)
  • The slogan for Gujarat would be “Sabka saath, sabka vikaas” (everybody together in progress)





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