BJP’s National Executive meet concludes: Three big takeaways from Modi’s speech


April 5, 2015

BENGALURU – The BJP has taken a hit in perception battle on three critical governance issues – land acquisition bill, failure to bring back money and the fact that Modi government cares more for the rich than for the poor.

April 5, 2015

BENGALURU – The BJP has taken a hit in perception battle on three critical governance issues – land acquisition bill, failure to bring back money and the fact that Modi government cares more for the rich than for the poor.

Concluding its three day national executive meet in Bengaluru, the party has come out with a new found aggression to ferociously counter these charges and make an all out effort to convince that their government is development and welfare oriented.

That had been the central thrust of the three speeches Prime Minister Narendra Modi made during the national meeting in Bangalore. PM Modi did succeed in energizing his party colleagues and made them feel empowered by strongly taking on their political rivals in this perception battle.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who briefed the media after Modi concluded his valedictory speech at national executive meeting sought to turn tables on Congress saying that "the 2013 land acquisition bill passed during UPA regime was anti-farmer. It prevented rural irrigation, rural roads, rural electrification and job creation in rural areas".

Responding to a query from Firstpost about whether the Modi government erred in strategy of bringing an ordinance to amend that law first and then try to create a favorable public opinion, Jaitley didn't give a direct reply.

He said it was an accepted fact that land would be needed for infrastructure development and therefore the party and government was discussing it on all forums. His other party colleagues admit that the party leadership should have taken the more prudent way — mobilized public opinion first and then went for the amendments in the land law.

A number of party leaders say that ratification of re-promulgated land ordinance was vitally important for fulfillment of so many of promises Modi and BJP made to the citizens of India.

In his speeches, Modi dwelt at length in countering Congress and other political rivals' who were engaging in "disinformation campaign" that the BJP government was pro-corporate and anti-poor. He listed a number of measures that his government had taken and also made a point by point rebuttal on those charges asking questions about whether rural roads, irrigation, electrification, affordable housing for weaker sections of society were meant for the rich.

In the same vein, he talked about transparency in auction of coal blocks and around two lakh crore rupees collected from it, a large portion of which would be shared with the states concerned. Citing one such example of disinformation campaign, Modi said even before his government had assumed office, the Congress went on making false claims that the gas prices would rise after the BJP government takes over. The gas prices didn't rise, instead it came down. His list went on.

Modi's point of disinformation was picked up by many who spoke at the national meeting even reflected in its political resolution.

To counter the opposition's charge of a pro-rich and anti-poor government, the BJP's theme at the national executive was "Antyodaya Hamara Sankalp" (elevation of last person in the social stratification is our resolve).

Modi also realises that besides finding ways to resolve challenges on governance issues and modes to engage with opposition parties in Parliament, he also needs to keep the organizational base of the party growing, both in size and in strength. He therefore has chalked out elaborate flagship programmes which will run from block to the state level.

From celebrating Amedkar's birth anniversary on 14 April, one year of Modi government in office, a mass public contact programme in May-June, training and study camps, party taking up World Yoga Divas in a big way and to Deen Dayal Upadhaya's birth centenary celebrations — the list goes on. Besides their daily responsibilities, the party leaders have also been asked to vigorously take up socially relevant flagship programmes.

The idea is to keep the party leaders and workers energy channelized in gainful activities. Idleness of post election periods could otherwise breed dissent and disappointment. The party is also evolving a mechanism to deal with loose cannons like Giriraj Singh, Sakshi Maharaj, Niranjana Jyoti, et al.

Prime Minister Modi also had to make sure that pulling the curtain on old guards, particularly LK Advani, which roughly coincides with the party's 35th year of inception, does not hurt his image any further. Under him, the BJP has found new flavors but attempts to de-link with the past for a commanding present is something that is nagging some of BJP's colleagues. But prudence tells them to remain silent than challenge a mighty rising tide.

Courtesy: Firstpost