The BJP on Sunday adopted a political resolution affirming its commitment to “nationalism, national unity and integrity” and lashed out at the Congress for compromising on national security by meeting its “petty political ends”.
Making a pointed reference to the recent revelations in the Ishrat Jahan case, where the BJP leadership was accused of ordering a fake encounter, and the continuing row over curbs on free speech in Jawaharlal Nehru University, the BJP accused the Congress of siding with “secessionists and ultra-Left who were demanding the “vivisection and destruction of Bharat”.
India has been referred to as Bharat, in tune with the RSS’s sentiment, in the resolution, which was adopted at the end of the national executive meeting. It also blamed a “microscopic minority for indulging in a kind of demagogy that goes against the essence of the Constitution”.
Attempting to salvage its image ahead of the assembly polls, the BJP spelt out “nationalism” as the ideology that guides the party’s belief. It stressed that the Constitution described India also as Bharat — and refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ in the name of freedom was tantamount to “disrespect of the Constitution”.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley told reporters that BJP supports free speech and nationalism is a guiding factor for the its beliefs, but “free speech and nationalism do necessarily co-exist”.
“The Constitution of India allows complete freedom to dissent and disagreement but does not permit destruction of the nation. We completely support freedom of expression,” he said.
Earlier, moving the resolution, Union parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu eulogised Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “god’s gift for India” and the “messiah of the poor”.
Though the lavish praise of the PM was not made a part of the resolution, there was profuse admiration for his foreign policy initiatives that have been modelled on the lines of the ‘Panchsheel’ and described as ‘Panchamrit’.
Listed as his achievements are the help extended to Nepal post the earthquake, renewing India-Afghanistan ties, land border agreement with Bangladesh, fillip to connectivity in the SAARC through the BBIN accord, and his visit to Pakistan as commitment towards peace and dialogue in the region.
In the run-up to the upcoming assembly polls in four states and a Union Territory, the party is eager to project the work done by the government.
PM Modi himself has also instructed workers to disseminate information about the government’s pro-poor and farmerfriendly policies and use social media as a means of reaching out. After the recent poll debacle in Bihar, there is a perception that the government has not been able to communicate its policies and achievements to the people.
With an eye on the elections, the BJP resolution makes copious reference to internal security measures, poverty elimination initiatives and social justice measures.