Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Saturday said the BJP has won the “first round of the nationalism debate” in the country as, according to him, “people who raised anti-India slogans till now have been forced to say Jai Hind, if not Bharat Mata ki Jai”
Addressing the Executive Committee meeting of the BJP’s Delhi unit, Jaitley asked party members to treat these events as ideological battles. Saying the BJP was inspired by nationalism, he said, “People who talk about breaking the country into pieces, they call it freedom of speech. Neither the Constitution nor the law allows it. And this happened in the capital of the country”.
Taking a jibe at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for visiting JNU after “anti-national” slogans were allegedly raised during an event on campus, Jaitley said, “Some people are questioning the spirit of Savarkar’s nationalism, who inspired lakhs and crores of Indians. These very people are attending programmes of those who talk of breaking the country.”
Attacking the Congress, Jaitley said the party was “shrinking throughout the country” and voters were soon going to turn Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of a “Congress-free India” into reality.
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“Modiji once called for a Congress-free India. The Congress has already gone out of Arunachal Pradesh. It can lose its government in Uttarakhand any day. In the Kerala and Assam elections, there are clear signals that it will wind up. Indian voters will convert Modiji’s slogan for a ‘Congress-free’ India into reality. We are headed in that direction,” he said.
Comparing the Congress to the last batsman of a team, Jaitley said, “The Congress’ aim these days is to be at the tail-end of any political alliance. In Bihar, they allied with Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar. In Tamil Nadu, they are seeking seats from the DMK. Congress is the new tail-ender of every alliance. This is the state the Congress leadership has driven the party to.”
He also criticised the party for disrupting Parliament, describing its politics as that of a ‘fringe party’.
“Mainstream political parties practice mainstream politics. But Congress practices politics of a fringe party. Only fringe political parties work to stall the progress of the country,” he said.
Attacking the AAP government, Jaitley said the disillusionment against the Delhi government was rising and the BJP stood to gain from it. He said the “politics of theatrics” could only be practiced within limits.
“… All sections have started dissociating one after the other… and it is difficult to regain their support. The Congress is not in a position to gain from this and that is why this space is available to BJP in Delhi,” he said.
Jaitley said “attacking” the three opposition members in the Delhi Assembly was aimed at “throttling” the voice of democracy.
“… There cannot be a bigger attack on democracy and on one’s independence than attacking the opposition in Vidhan Sabha in Delhi for airing their views… ,” he said.
Jaitley said the AAP was a government of “confrontations rather than constructive work”.