Inflation, terrorism BJP’s poll planks, silence on n-deal (Lead)September 13th, 2008 - 10:34 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, Sep 13 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced Saturday it will fight the coming Lok Sabha polls on four planks of inflation, terrorism, agricultural crisis and “vote bank politics” of the Congress and its allies, indicating that the party may not make the India-US nuclear deal a major issue in the electoral battle. The party finalised its poll plank on the second of the three-day national executive meeting here, attended by around 250 members.
The Lok Sabha elections, due next year, will be fought on four issues, inflation, terrorism, agricultural crisis and “appeasement policies” of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, BJP general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar told reporters releasing the political resolution adopted by the meet Saturday.
“It will be part of the security issue,” he said when asked about the party’s stand on the nuclear deal being a major poll plank.
The political resolution also was silent on reviewing the nuclear deal if BJP comes to power, as it hopes to after the Lok Sabha polls.
The resolution said: “The way the nuclear deal has been negotiated and what the government has accepted sow the seeds of future discord between the two countries (India and the US).
“The BJP is for strategic partnership with the US but not for strategic subservience which is what the deal is about,” it said.
The resolution said BJP will not accept any compromise on India’s right to conduct a nuclear test.
Under the terms of the nuclear deal and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver “any future test done in national interest would seriously impact nuclear commerce with any NSG member”, it said.
“This has serious security implications. The country has lost the power to develop credible minimum nuclear deterrence,” the resolution said.
Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad had told reporters Friday “the option to reopen the deal is always there. That is our consistent stand.”
On Jammu and Kashmir, the resolution demanded that “separatist elements in the valley including their patrons across the borders must be dealt with a very heavy hand. The BJP wants to make a categorical declaration that no part of India shall be allowed to secede.”
Referring to the row over land to the board managing the annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine in Jammu and Kashmir, the party accused the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of surrendering to the separatists. It praised the Sri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti for its successful agitation over the issue.
“It was a conflict between the separatist and the nationalist and it is matter of assurance that the nationalist forces could force the reversal of the surrender before the separatist,” the resolution said.
On terrorism, the resolution asked the government to vigorously pursue in courts the case for continuing the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) which, it said, “wants to establish a Muslim caliphate in total defiance of our ideals of secularism, liberalism and democracy”.
The resolution said “the political integrity of the prime minister (Manmohan Singh) has come under serious cloud” in view of “patently dubious, corrupt and questionable methods adopted by UPA and some of its new-found allies to secure a majority (during the July 22 trust vote in the Lok Sabha).”
It said: “The only legacy of the UPA is a suffering and insecure India.”
The executive meet is to finalise the party strategy for returning to power at Delhi.
The party’s campaign for the Lok Sabha as well assembly polls in several north Indian states later this year was launched here Saturday evening at a Vijay Sankalp Yatra addressed by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani and party president Rajnath Singh.
BJP will organise 13 more such rallies which will conclude in Hyderabad on Oct 25, Ananth Kumar said. Advani will be the main speaker at these rallies.