BJP president Nitin Gadkari raised the pitch on Kashmir in his speech to delegates at the party’s national executive meet in Guwahati on Saturday, charging the Congress with pampering separatists.
“Within the ruling party, there are elements who... pamper those who see India as an encroacher in J&K...” Gadkari said. The aggressive stance comes days ahead of the party's youth wing under Anurag Thakur’s planned yatra from Kolkata to Kashmir to hoist the tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar.
Gadkari has also commissioned a film on the Kashmir problem, which will, among other things, shed light on Jawaharlal Nehru’s “failures” on the Kashmir front and the successes of Sardar Patel in the integration of princely states. He has asked former BJP president Rajnath Singh to go to the state and study the problem.
Gadkari made pointed attacks on Congress president Sonia Gandhi while addressing the delegates, targeting her on things ranging from the recent Income Tax Appellate Tribunal judgment on Ottavio Quottrocchi to the Hindutva terror charges. Curiously though, the written text of the speech circulated later was silent on Sonia Gandhi, leading to speculation that the party had deliberately downplayed her name. The PM was, however, criticised both orally and in the written version: “While looters were emptying the government coffers, PM Manmohan Singh was standing guard with his eyes closed and, perhaps, hands tied.”
NAC under attack
The National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi came under sharp attack from Gadkari. Sources said Gadkari told the delegates that some members of the Sonia Gandhi-headed NAC had sympathies for naxals and for separatist forces in Kashmir. The allegation: Gandhi is surrounded by people whose “national loyalties” are suspect.
Mum on Yeddyurappa
While the party is trying to corner the UPA government on corruption, Gadkari chose to downplay the controversy over corruption charges against Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa.