Uniform civil code, Article 370 back on BJP's agenda
Buoyed by a series of election victories including those in Karnataka and Gujarat, the BJP on Sunday took out its contentious demands for scrapping Article 370 and bringing in a uniform civil code from the closet ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
On the backburner for long owing to coalition pressures, the saffron party sought to bring these issues back on its agenda and also floated a new idea of "true secularism" to target the Congress, which it has always accused of appeasing minorities.
"Along with cultural nationalism, Article 370, uniform civil code and true secularism, we are committed to preserve the national unity and integrity," BJP chief Rajnath Singh said in his address at the party's National Executive in New Delhi.
On the issue of true secularism, the party wanted the Government to stop use of Hindi word dharmanirpeksh for secular and instead use 'panthnirpeksh' so as to come out of the colonial mindset.
Apart from the Ram Temple issue, demands for scrapping of Article 370 granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir and a common civil code for all the religions were part of the BJP's core issues that propelled it to the national centrestage.
The party had to put these issues on the backburner after formation of the NDA.
The meet is being held in the shadow of the violent Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan at the Parliament Annexe, the main venue, as also the party headquarters which saw massive security arrangements.
Under attack from the Opposition over handling of the Gujjar stir, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje chose not to attend the National Executive.