With Anna stir off, BJP looks to regain oppn space | delhi | Hindustan Times
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With Anna stir off, BJP looks to regain oppn space

With Anna Hazare calling off his fast and crowds vacating Ramlila Maidan, the BJP hopes to resuscitate its 'anti-corruption' campaign against the UPA. Shekhar Iyer reports.

delhi Updated: Aug 29, 2011 00:03 IST
Shekhar Iyer

With Anna Hazare calling off his fast and crowds vacating Ramlila Maidan, the BJP hopes to resuscitate its 'anti-corruption' campaign against the UPA. The objective, as BJP leaders concede, is to regain the space, which analysts believe was taken from the main opposition party.

BJP leaders intend to immediately revive the campaign against Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit for scams relating to the CWG.

Despite her son Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit playing a key role in ending Hazare's fast, BJP leaders claim that, ultimately, the people will turn against the Congress. Already, a signature campaign is under way in Delhi against Dikshit, which will be later enlarged into a "bigger struggle" against the Congress.

Also, to corner the UPA government, the BJP will again take up inside and outside Parliament the CAG reports over Air India and the 2G scam.

Drawing on debating points articulated by its senior leaders, particularly those made by Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj in Parliament, BJP's campaign managers intend to show that even if the party "slipped" initially by hedging on backing Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal bill, it made up by forcefully supporting his campaign.

"Since then, we have shown that the BJP has been forceful than any other party to support Hazare," said a senior leader.

Senior leader L K Advani said Hazare has thanked the BJP for its contribution during the campaign in a letter. "Anna wrote a letter to thank my party for the contribution it made," he said.

With the next round of polls in UP, Uttarakhand and Punjab early next year, the BJP's focus would be to see how the "Anna Hazare effect" plays out in these states, he added.

Another leader said Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's attempt to "change the game" by calling for Lokpal on the lines of EC suited the BJP.

"What happened in Parliament showed that he could not change the game at all," he said. "On the other hand, the BJP played a key role in the two Houses, adopting a resolution to convey the 'sense' of support for Hazare's demands."

BJP president Nitin Gadkari assured Hazare that "the BJP will always be ready to rally around you..."