BJP meet focuses on inflation, terrorism, farmers

June 1st, 2008 - 7:04 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the first day Sunday of its two-day national exectuvie meeting, focused on the issues of farmers’ suicides, rising inflation and growing terrorism while setting the tenor for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. Party president Rajnath Singh addressed the first session of the executive, comprising over 200 members from across the country. The euphoria of the recent victory in Karnataka assembly elections was visible in the Parliament Annexe building with Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa being the toast of all eyes.

“The victory in Karnataka will prove to be a milestone in the Indian politics for both the BJP and the NDA (National Democratic Alliance). It symbolises the political, geographical and social expansion of BJP,” Singh said in his presidential speech.

“It is a vote of confidence given by the people in answer to the politics of duplicity,” he added.

Victory in Karnataka on May 25 was the BJP’s first in a southern state and has given it a shot in the arm after it won Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections in December.

Its main political adversary, the ruling Congress, has been losing state after state. The BJP is in power in seven states while its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners rule in five more states.

Exuding confidence of returning victorious in the next Lok Sabha elections, due in May 2009, Singh criticised the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for failing to control inflation.

“The product of the UPA budget (2008-09) was weak, but the marketing and packaging were strong,” said Singh.

Calling the rising inflation “man-made” and a result of gross mismanagement, Singh said the UPA government had also failed to check suicides among farmers.

The annual rate of inflation has climbed to 8.1 percent for the week ended May 17, according to the latest data available - far above the comfort level of five percent.

“I appeal to all political parties of the country to collectively build pressure on the UPA government to convene a special session of parliament to discuss the agrarian crisis,” Singh said, referring to suicides committed by a growing number of farmers under the financial burden.

On the issue of terrorism and threat to internal security, Singh called for “strong, determinate action”. “If the government still does not feel the need for an anti-terrorism law, then this would not only reflect its immaturity but also raise questions about the honesty of the government,” he said.

The BJP has blamed the UPA government of being soft on terror and failing to make laws like the now-scrapped Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

The BJP-ruled Rajasthan was the victim of a terrorist attack May 13, in which at least 61 people were killed in Jaipur serial bomings.

Singh also said that infiltration of Bangladeshis should be checked to control terrorism.

He welcomed, amid applause, a fatwa by Darul-Uloom, the Deoband-based Islamic seminary, which Saturday termed participation in terror activities as “un-Islamic”.

The BJP president said the definition of secularism in India should be “panth-nirpeksh” (neutral to all sects) and not “dharma-nirpeksh” (neutral to all religions). “Dharma (religion) symbolises absolute and eternal values which can never change like laws of nature. Dharma is like the earth or land while ‘panth’ (sect) is like different paths built over it,” Singh said.

Singh also spoke on the Sixth Pay Commission, which has allegedly given a raw deal to the defence personnel. “Probably for the first time in the history of India retired officials and military personnel were compelled to agitate against the government,” he said.

Singh’s speech also mentioned the party stand on the Setusamudram shipping canal project and UPA’s foreign policy vis-

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