Post-bandh, BJP on ‘new’ high
A day after what the Opposition termed as a “successful bandh” against price hike, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani asked party leaders to work towards reviving the BJP as a “party with a difference” to take on the Congress ahead of the 2014 polls.
Undeterred by criticism that the bandh call derailed normal life, Advani said the bandh’s impact would put an end to criticism that the Opposition was not doing enough on the issue.
Advani’s remarks were timed with a buoyant mood among the cadres after the bandh and seen as a message to all BJP leaders to work unitedly under party chief Nitin Gadkari.
“We had been hearing criticism that the opposition was not living up to the expectations of the people by not taking up the issue of price rise, which is responsible for the present plight of the people,” he said.
“Atal Bihari Vajpayee used to say we are a party with a difference. We all should strive towards achieving this aim.”
He was speaking at a function here to mark the birth anniversary of ideologue Shyama Prasad Mookherjee, who founded BJP’s earlier avatar Jan Sangh. “We are in politics not to serve our own agenda but to make this country great.”
Brushing aside the Congress’ criticism, BJP general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “One newspaper says loss was Rs 2,735 crore, another says it was up to Rs 10,000 crore. How can CII and FICCI figures differ like this? ”
Debunking the contention of oil companies going insolvent if prices were not hiked, he said Indian Oil Corporation earned a profit of Rs 4,663.78 crore, Bharat Petroleum Rs 800 crore and Hindustan Petroleum Rs 500 crore in 2009-10.