Senior BJP leader LK Advani came out in full support of new party chief Nitin Gadkari’s prescription to revitalise the BJP to enable it to take on the Congress in the next Lok Sabha election due in 2014.
Wrapping up the party’s three-day mega conclave on Friday, Advani asked all leaders to junk their old ways of thinking and adapt to a new approach that is in tune with the changing times — as outlined by Gadkari.
The party chief had called upon the cadres to engage in politics for development and good governance and to resolve thorny issues such as the Ram temple through conciliation and dialogue with Muslims.
“Gadkari is absolutely right in saying that individual ambitions must always be subservient to the party’s goals,” said Advani, asking the 5,000 delegates to help the new party chief succeed in his tasks to prove the BJP’s “commitment to development-focused politics and governance”.
Advani said a “new and positive phase in the BJP’s life has begun under (Gadkari’s) youthful leadership”.
Advani also sought an end to the disquiet and despair among a section of the BJP and Hindutva hardliners — articulated by former party chief Rajnath Singh — over Gadkari’s plan to focus more on development-oriented and governance issues rather than on the Ram temple and other controversies that don’t enthuse voters any more.
Gadkari, in turn, virtually read out the riot act to wayward BJP leaders, saying their appraisals in future would be made on the basis of their work in villages. Those who perform would be rewarded with nominations to contest the next elections.
“I assure you that those people who do a good job will be rewarded and those who don't will lose out. Tickets won’t be given on the basis of likes and dislikes. No empty talk will be encouraged. You better do solid work on the ground to connect with the people. When the government is in the wrong, as in the case of issues such as the price rise, Kashmir and internal security, play the role of a vigilant opposition. Our mantra will be team work and a collective approach,” he said.