The BJP, which has vowed to take up
as one of its main election issues in Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday announced it would make singing of the national song compulsory if voted to power in the state.
At a party rally at Pilakhwa, BJP chief Rajnath Singh attacked the Congress-led UPA government for declaring there would be no compulsion on schoolchildren to sing Vande Mataram on September 7 to mark its centenary.
As part of party efforts to woo core RSS vote-block ahead of UP elections, Singh's comments indicate that Hindutva would be BJP's main poll plank in the state.
"Those who want to live in India have to sing Vande Mataram," he said referring to opposition by some Muslim clerics to a Central directive on singing of the song on September 7.
He described the nation Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh's remarks in the wake of Muslim opposition that nobody would be forced to sing Vande Mataram as a 'cruel joke'.
The BJP, he said, would make its singing compulsory if voted to power in the state.
Singh, who demanded the state elections be held under the President's rule, also set out to woo the farmers community promising four-per cent interest on farm loans.
The BJP leader also spoke about a crack down by the Indian Army on cross-border terror camps.
"President Pervez Musharraf should destroy those terror camps. But if he is not able to do that, he should ask for India's support and then our Army should go there and destroy those camps," he said.