The political resolution adopted at the first BJP National Executive meeting in two years praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, and accused the Opposition of “opportunism” and acting solely with a mindset of “extreme hate”.
Largely devoted to lauding the Modi government over a range of issues, from Covid to his stand on climate change, as well as reduction of the excise duty on petrol and diesel, it predicted a big win for the BJP in coming elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. The 18-point resolution was tabled by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The focus of the one-day meeting held Sunday was the coming Assembly elections, with Adityanath apart from Chief Ministers as well as BJP presidents of poll-bound Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and Punjab giving presentations. Addressing the valedictory session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the party’s performance in the recent by-elections and expressed confidence regarding the coming polls.
The resolution said that while India was reaching new heights globally under Modi, the Opposition was acting out of “keval aur keval aseem nafrat ki mansikta (solely a mindset of extreme hate)”, and was trying to derail the Covid vaccination programme through conspiracies and spreading disinformation. “Opposition parties never hit the road during the pandemic and confined themselves to Twitter to spread suspicion,” Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, at a briefing on the resolution.
While listing various measures by the Modi government for farmer welfare, the resolution passed at the National Executive was silent on the contentious farm laws, as well as on the CAA and the border dispute with China.
The party said that to give relief to the people from the surging fuel prices across the world, the government had cut excise duties on petrol and diesel, and the BJP governments in states had further cut taxes.
Apart from Modi’s leadership in fighting the pandemic, the resolution praised the PM for his measures “that have brought back normalcy to life and the economy”. While other countries had printed more money and taken debt, Modi had stressed on measures such as Atmanirbharta, it said.
The resolution also praised Modi for his speech at COP26, saying it showed his commitment to the climate issue. It also praised the PM for providing a “corruption-free government since 2014” .
While attacking the ruling Trinamool Congress for “sponsored violence” against BJP workers in West Bengal, the resolution noted that the BJP had put up an admirable performance in various Assembly polls, and numerous bypolls and local elections.
The resolution also said a chapter of “security, peace and development” has opened in Jammu and Kashmir, and mentioned the development initiatives in the Union territory and the completion of local body polls.
To a query on farmers’ protests, Sitharaman said the government has made clear its willingness to talk to farmer unions and asked them to list their grievances on the three laws. The resolution highlighted the government’s programmes for their welfare, including the release of new varieties of crops, farm credit, PM-KISAN scheme, Kisan Rail among others.
However, it was silent on the farm laws themselves, apart from the contentious issues of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and the military standoff with China. The laws continue to see protests by farmers in poll-bound Punjab and parts of Uttar Pradesh, as well as Haryana, while China has held on to its aggressive position on the Line of Actual Control.
The only mention of the CAA at the National Executive was in BJP president J P Nadda’s speech, hailing Modi’s “farsightedness” in introducing the Act given the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
Incidentally, both the farm laws and the border tension had figured in a resolution adopted by a meeting of BJP national office-bearers, attended by Modi, earlier this year. The February 21 resolution, while declaring virtual victory over Covid, had mentioned the “situation with China” and said: “India will not let any expansionist strategy succeed on its borders.”
On farm laws, the party had justified the legislation as being “in the interest of farmers” and hailed the PM for their adoption, despite talks floundering by then.
In the inaugural speech, Nadda quoted his predecessor Amit Shah, who had said that the party’s peak had not yet come. He also spoke about the BJP’s growth in West Bengal, saying that from the perspective of political science, there were few parallels in Indian history.
Following Nadda’s speech, Adityanath tabled the political resolution. On his physical presence at the meeting, while CMs of other BJP-ruled states joined in virtually, party leaders said it indicated the significance the party attaches to the elections in UP. Asked why Yogi was asked to move the political resolution, Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who briefed the media on the meeting, said: “He is a senior leader of the party and CM of the biggest state of the country. The state has done so well in tackling Covid and generating jobs… Why not?”
The resolution was seconded by BJP Tamil Nadu chief K Annamalai, with Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw, G Kishan Reddy and Anurag Singh Thakur, and CMs N Biren Singh (Manipur), Pramod Sawant (Goa) and Pushkar Singh Dhami (Uttarakhand) speaking on it.
Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav spoke on the climate change summit, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on the vaccination programme and MoS, IT, Rajiv Chandrashekhar on the economy, with a special thrust on Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Supposed to be held every three months as per the party constitution, the BJP National Executive was held Sunday for the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19. While the party’s national office-bearers, its National Executive members in the Capital and Union ministers attended the meeting in person, CMs and members from other states joined online.
Veteran party leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi also joined the meeting virtually from their respective residences in Delhi.
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