A three-day meeting of the BJP National Council dedicated to ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya will begin on Friday, days after the terror attack on the army in Jammu and Kashmir. At least 3,000 delegates, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his ministers and BJP President Amit Shah, are set to attend the meet. It will conclude on September 25, the day Upadhyaya was born.
“As the Uri incident has taken place, it will obviously be discussed during the meeting,” BJP national Secretary P. Murlidharan, a former president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kerala unit, told IANS. Eighteen soldiers were killed when militants believed to have come from Pakistan attacked an army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. The killings have sent India-Pakistan relations plunging to a new low.
The BJP has chosen this northern Kerala region for the mega event as Upadhyaya was elected president of the Jan Sangh, the BJP’s predecessor, in 1967 at a party conclave in Kozhikode. Murlidharan said the event will begin with a meeting of national office bearers and state presidents who will finalise the agenda of the council.
He said Prime Minister Modi will arrive in the city on September 24 and will address a rally at Kozikokde. The National Council is also likely to devise a strategy for upcoming assembly elections in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
Kerala BJP leaders feel the meeting will boost the party’s prospects in the state where it has just one member in the assembly and whose politics has for decades been dominated by the Left and the Congress. In this year’s assembly election in Kerala, the BJP opened its account and more than doubled its vote share from 7 to 15 per cent.
During the National Council meeting, the issue of violent clashes between Left and RSS cadres will also be taken up. According to BJP sources, the party is planning of a get together of all those who attended the session in this coastal city in 1967.
“Deendayal Upadhyaya had then talked about the Jan Sangh’s potential to become an alternative to the Congress and energised its cadres to become a national political force,” said party veteran O. Rajagopal, the only BJP legislator in Kerala. Rajagopal was among those who attended the 1967 Kozhikode session. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and BJP veterans L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi also attended the session.