“The Congress has created problems, and the BJP will provide solutions.”
This was what Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari claimed before the party’s national executive delegates in his address on Thursday.
Senior BJP leader LK Advani with Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley lights the lamp during the inauguration of the party's National Executive Meeting in Mumbai. PTI/Mitesh Bhuvad
Attacking the Congress on issues relating to inflation (especially the Rs. 7.5-hike in petrol prices), the rupee's free fall in recent times and corruption, Gadkari called for expanding the NDA to take on the UPA.
“The principal purpose of this meeting is to begin our preparations for the next Lok Sabha elections, irrespective of whether they are held in 2014 or earlier,” Gadkari said. “It’s time for the BJP-led NDA to come back… The BJP’s return to power has become a national necessity.”
NDA acting chairman LK Advani also pitched for a BJP show of strength through a Bharat Bandh against the petrol price hike: “In the history of the country, there has never been such a steep rise in the price of petrol on a single day. To protest this arbitrary hike, the NDA has decided to organise a day-long peaceful protest, besides a bandh, across the country on May 31.”
When asked whether BJP-ruled states would cut state taxes on oil to reduce the consumer’s burden, the party's chief spokesperson, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said, “It is not good to put the onus on states when you (the Centre) are destroying the economy."
Gadkari also hinted that he saw the forthcoming Presidential election as a stage for the union of non-UPA parties. Stating that the NDA will decide its pick at the right time, he said, “The
BJP is striving to create a broad consensus among all non-Congress parties for fielding a worthy candidate…”