NEW DELHI(PTI): Ahead of the BJP's national executive meeting, a meeting of the party's national…
ALLAHABAD,NISTULA HEBBAR: BJP president Amit Shah termed 2017 as the “year of challenges” for the party, as it faced crucial polls in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
Addressing his party’s national executive here on Sunday, he flagged the violence in Mathura over land grab and the mass migration of Hindu families from Kairana in western Uttar Pradesh as ‘illustrative’ of the Samajwadi Party government’s ‘failure’ to govern the State.
The mention of these two incidents, specifically of Kairana where party legislator and Muzaffarnagar riots accused Hukum Singh alleged that 346 Hindu families had to leave the Muslim-majority area due to threats, is significant as it underscores a measure of communal polarisation.
Mr. Shah, however, mentioned these two incidents as examples of the ‘failure’ of the Akhilesh Yadav government to maintain law and order.
“The manner of the Uttar Pradesh government’s working is a matter of concern. There is an atmosphere of violence which the State government is unable to control,” Mr. Shah said.
“Government land was occupied in Mathura with the connivance of the State government and in Kairana, migration is happening because of violence and this [SP] government is unable to stop it,” he said.
The BJP had swept the 2014 general election in the State and had done particularly well in Western Uttar Pradesh. It is now clear that these two incidents, especially Kairana, will be a major campaign plank in the run-up to the Assembly polls in early 2017.
The Union government’s celebration of its two years in power had been focussing on the developmental agenda with no mention of any community-specific issue.
“Our focus is still development and the BJP president mentioned these two incidents in relation to the State government’s failure to address law and order, which is the biggest impediment to development,” Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad clarified at a briefing.
“Any inference that the Kairana incident has been flagged with a view to raising communal passions is wrong. Our commitment to development is unquestioned and for that to happen, governance is important,” said Mr. Prasad.
Mr. Shah said the good performance of the BJP in the recent Assembly polls was due to its ideology gaining wider acceptance, even in States where the party had no presence.
Congress atrophying at alarming speed: Shah
“The Congress is atrophying at an alarming speed and good people are leaving it,” BJP president Amit Shah said here on Sunday.
Addressing the party’s national executive, Mr. Shah said: “Its constant blocking of the development agenda is weakening its hold. However, the BJP’s rise is not because of that, it’s because of its ideology and its commitment to its word.”
Mr. Shah made a special mention of the fact that two Islamic countries, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan had recently conferred their highest civilian honours on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “That this should happen in such a short time of his premiership is significant, and also shows the direct contrast between Modiji’s international image, and the false campaign run against him,” he said.
He expressed concern over political violence against the BJP cadre in States such as Kerala and West Bengal. “In Kerala alone, there have been at least 300 cases of violence against our workers within a week of the LDF government taking charge, and in West Bengal too there have been incidents of this kind. We deplore the use of violence in a democratic set-up.”
He said that while Uttar Pradesh was a major target for the party, the “Coromandel States” were of equal importance. “We have made a happy beginning,” he said.
He asked party men to take forward the ‘people-centric’ campaigns launched by the Central government like Swachch Bharat, Namami Gange (clean Ganges), Beti Padhao Beti Badhao (educate a girl child) and Yoga to bind people to the party.
The party will now deliberate on its political and economic resolution on Monday, and the national executive meeting will end with an address by the Prime Minister.