Focus on positive agenda, a young deputy, netizens tell Advani

January 9th, 2009 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party
New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) A young candidate as deputy prime minister, a positive agenda and a promise of change — these are some suggestions that the common man has for senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani for the coming general elections.The suggestions have been posted on the website of Advani, the party’s 81-year-old prime ministerial candidate. Some of them virtually lay out a poll strategy for the BJP.

Some have suggested the party’s firebrand leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s name as a deputy prime ministerial candidate while a few have also advocated the name of party general secretary Arun Jaitely.

The twosome of “Modi and Jaitely can be like Atal (Bihari Vajpayee) and Advani in the party”, feels one Prasad. He said “both should be handed over the task of reviving the BJP in Uttar Pradesh”, India’s most populous state.

The state after all has the maximum seats, 80, in the Lok Sabha and the BJP has only 10 of these. From 57 seats in 1998 and 29 in 1999, the party came down to 10 seats in the last Lok Sabha elections in 2004.

Netizens have flooded the discussion forum on the website launched in November ever since the BJP’s reverses in the recently concluded Rajasthan and Delhi assembly elections.

One of them is Abhi, who says the BJP’s “winning formula is to project Narendra Modi either as the deputy prime minister or home minister”.

A netizen, S. Sankar, says promoting “a young charming talented person as the BJP’s deputy prime minister will offset any advantage the Congress may have in projecting Rahul Gandhi.”

It will be “a good idea (to promote a young leader) since our English TV channels have already tarnished the BJP’s image by repeatedly commenting that the party always projects old and tired faces. But this comment was not made even once against Sheila Dikshit,” he said.

Another netizen, Manish Ahluwalia, says the BJP should project the party’s youth leadership as India is a young country. He suggests more penetration of the party in the rural areas.

The party should identify all its candidates in time and mobilize its cadre and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) workers, says Ahluwalia.

He also suggests the party should give prominence to local issues and aggressively project lack of development and security. Sankar says the party should form a “rebel elimination committee” to ensure that no rebel candidate of the BJP played the spoiler.

Many also want the BJP to come up with its own positive agenda rather than just criticising the Congress.

One such person, whose virtual name is ‘mpneerkaje’, says instead of saying the BJP was opposed to minority appeasement, the party should say it gives equal opportunity to all.

He advises poll managers to shun hackneyed slogans like ‘60 years of Congress rule’ and ‘Congress padi mehengi’ and says these slogans have failed as they are unattractive.

Another person, Hegde127, advises the party to stop ignoring the Muslim community.

“Muslims comprise the second largest population in India and it is very difficult to build a developed country by neglecting them. Congress, for the past 60 years, just used the Muslim card to get their votes without investing in their upliftment,” he says.

He says there is no need for the BJP to appease them but it should evolve an inclusive agenda, irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

“Like Narendra Modi did in Gujarat with his ‘Saade panch crore Gujaratis’ campaign, the BJP should speak for 1.1 billion Indians. This will be an inclusive agenda slogan,” Hegde says.

People have even suggested that the party learn from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in the US.

“The BJP must create an environment where people clamour for change. Not necessarily because of anti-incumbency but because of the agenda of the BJP and its priority to creating basic infrastructure and facilities,” advises Prasad.

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