‘BJP’s Guwahati meet at buoyant time for party’ (Interview)

January 7th, 2011 - 7:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party By George Joseph
New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national executive meeting in Guwahati from Saturday “comes at a buoyant political situation” for the party after a spectacular victory in Bihar, says party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.”The meeting comes at a buoyant political situation for us and the NDA (National Democratic Alliance). While people are reaffirming support to the BJP and NDA, the Congress and UPA (United Progressive Alliance) are on the decline after the worst year of corruption scandals,” Sitharaman told IANS in an interview here.

She said the two-day national executive meeting - to be attended by nearly 300 leaders - will discuss the political situation threadbare. Corruption scandals and price rise will be two major issues for discussion.

“The issues of corruption — the 2G spectrum scandal, Bofors revelations, Adarsh housing scam, Commonwealth Games — and other scandals have shocked the public. These will figure prominently in Guwahati,” she said.

“People are shocked at the series of scams. They are more shocked at the evasive attitude of the Congress and the government,” said the 49-year-old lone woman spokesperson of the party.

She recalled that the last BJP national executive meeting was held at Patna (June 12-13), only months before the Bihar assembly elections gave a resounding victory to the ruling combine of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the BJP.

“Now that the party and NDA have returned to power in India’s second most populous state triumphantly, we are in a buoyant mood,” she added.

Sitharaman said the BJP was also proud of its electoral victories in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.

She pointed out that the Guwahati meeting was being held a few months before Assam and four other states — West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry — go to the polls.

“The party is going to register better results, if not big wins, in these states where we are traditionally not very strong,” she said.

Before the national executive begins, the party leadership will hear about the latest situation from state presidents. This, she said, was a routine exercise.

Sitharaman said the Guwahati meet will pass a comprehensive political resolution and one on the situation in India’s northeast.

“The northeast resolution will address the burning issues of the region: rampant corruption and lack of development in Congress-ruled states, infiltration of foreigners, economic blockades and ethnic violence,” she said.

“The meet may adopt separate resolutions on the economic situation and foreign affairs,” said Sitharaman, an alumnus of New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and a former researcher with Pricewaterhouse Coopers in London.

How will the BJP justify the continuation of Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who has been accused of corruption?

“Yeddy has offered to be probed on all charges,” she said, referring to the chief minister. “Let the judicial probe be completed. Let it find out whether he had done something unusual.”

Sitharaman said the demand of the BJP for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scandal will “naturally figure in Guwahati”.

Are there differences in the BJP between Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Murli Manohar Joshi and other leaders on whether a PAC probe will be effective compared to a JPC investigation?

With a vehement “no”, she said the BJP was united on the issue of ordering a JPC into the spectrum scandal. “The Guwahati meet will make it loud and clear.”

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