The UPA may not finish its tenure and BJP leaders should be ready for mid-term polls: this was the message from BJP president Nitin Gadkari to leaders in his inaugural speech at the party’s three-day conclave here.
“Polls are possible at any time, the BJP president said. Government may or may not complete its tenure,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told journalists after Gadkari’s speech. “He promised good governance and pro-people policies if the NDA comes to power.” Prasad added that Gadkari had underlined that if the government fell because of corruption, it is not the BJP’s duty to support it.
The dais for Tuesday’s press conference was unique: It had a picture of Lord Krishna blowing the conch to announce the beginning of war – a popular image from the Hindu epic the Mahabharata. The image also reinforced the party’s intended message: Be ready, polls are approaching.
Dubbing the UPA a sinking ship, Gadkari accused it of “misusing” the CBI to stay afloat. “An extension of the CBI should be opened in the Congress office.
Abuse of the CBI has crossed all limits,” he said. The BJP chief reiterated the party’s charge that the government had sought to subvert constitutional institutions.
He cited the performance of BJP-ruled states in contrast with an embattled UPA: “When the PM is talking about a 1991 type of situation, BJP governments are doing very well even in the present situation. Gujarat and MP are growing at 11 %; Bihar has posted even higher growth.”
Gadkari also referred to the Assam riots as an “Indians vs foreign infiltrators problem”, promising that an NDA government will make border fencing its top priority.
Former BJP chief ministers of Karnataka and Rajasthan BS Yeddyurappa and Vasundhara Raje, respectively, were absent from the conclave. Sources said Raje was away and Yeddyurappa was sulking. Senior leader Sushma Swaraj, who is indisposed, was also unable to attend the conclave.