JNU turmoil: BJP’s nationalism campaign kicks off today

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 18, 2016 07:39 IST
Senior BJP leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (left) and Vijay Goel at a protest against ‘anti-national’ powers at Jantar Mantar. (Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has planned a three-day Jan Swabhiman Abhiyan from February 18 to stir up ‘nationalism’ among countrymen and counter threat of separatism besides exposing a ‘political conspiracy’ promoting it. It has decided to aggressively put forth party’s stand on the JNU incident and raise the testimony of Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley during the upcoming Parliament session.

The campaign and Parliament strategy comes against the backdrop of an outrage over the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar on the charges of sedition. While the opposition and the intelligentsia have blamed the government for overacting and curbing freedom of expression, the BJP has said that it stands for the unity, integrity and development of the country.

The BJP headquarters has shot off a letter to its state units asking them to organise the event and has left to the local leadership to decide on the nature and scale of the programme. “It could be a street play, seminar, playing of nationalist songs at public places, conducting meetings. The aim is to highlight the cause of nationalism,” said a leader.

Read| JNU row: All you need to know about Kanhaiya’s sedition charge

After being voted to power, it will be for the first time that the BJP will undertake such a mass contact programme for an ‘emotive” issue. “Congress and some other parties are misusing educational institutions for political interests. It is a fight over anti-national event at JNU on February 9 between ‘break india’ and ‘build India’. There is a conspiracy to malign global image,” said Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. He said that fundamental rights are absolutely safe under the NDA government but anti-national activities cannot be allowed.

A BJP source told HT that the JNU controversy was discussed in detail in a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley and BJP chief Amit Shah here on Sunday. They agreed to remain offensive and spread the message of nationalism through a party event, added the source. The BJP anticipates an aggressive opposition in the Budget session of Parliament and is pinning hope on Abhiyan’s success to corner them.

BJP feels the Congress was bracketing itself with communists in questioning police action against ‘anti-nationals’. “The youth does not identify itself with the style of politics done by the Congress and the Left. They are getting alienated,” BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav said.

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