Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s statement in Silvassa in Dadra Nagar Haveli on February 4 that India would not hesitate to strike back if Pakistan did not stop fomenting terror in the country has caused quite a flutter in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) camp.
So much so that BJP president Rajnath Singh himself said at the national executive meeting held here on Friday that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government might well use war to reap electoral dividends.
Friday’s meeting will be followed by the party’s two-day national council meeting to chalk out election strategies.
Opening the three-day conclave on Friday amid concerns over former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s heath, the party decided on a “positive campaign” to pitchfork L.K. Advani as the best Prime Ministerial candidate and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as the best choice in the Lok Sabha polls.
The national executive decided that Advani’s vast experience in governance and delivery would be showcased as the BJP’s USP to counter the Congress strategy of banking on youth leaders.
And in keeping with Advani’s plan to woo all sections of voters, including the Muslims, Singh did not touch upon the Hindutva issues.
BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the party leaders, including relatively young Narendra Modi and Shivraj Singh, firmly backed the idea of projecting Advani.
Egged on by key leaders, particularly Modi and the younger lot, the party is now favouring that a good number of nominees should be young, as they had “better ability” to cut across the gender, caste and community lines. For, at least 40 per cent of voters are young.