The BJP has turned to the legacy of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for its national executive meeting, which starts Saturday. The party has chosen Dr Ambedkar International Centre as venue of the two-day meeting, which was scheduled last month but was deferred after Vajpayee passed away. The meeting’s theme is “Sadaiv Atal”.
Large hoardings with pictures of Vajpayee have been put up around the venue on Janpath Road. The roundabouts on the road have been decked up with hoardings with pictures of Vajpayee and and flex boards with pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah. Posters outside the building, which bear Vajpayee’s photograph, read, “BJP is committed to rebuilding the nation. If obstructions come, we will face them bravely.”
The meeting holds significance as it is being held in the run-up to Assembly polls in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the results of which will set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
The meeting also comes in the aftermath of protest by the upper castes against the government’s amendments to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and posters and hoardings prominently highlight the BJP’s slogan “Sabka Saath-Sabka Vikas”.
Addressing mediapersons at BJP headquarters on Friday, party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said there would also be a discussion on Vajpayee at the meeting. “The national executive meeting would be Atal-mai (full of Atal),” he said.
The meeting will start with an address by party president Shah. Sources said at least one resolution will be introduced and discussed in the next session. The Prime Minister will be present at the meeting. Earlier in the day, the party’s national officebearers will hold a meeting in Shah’s presence to give final shape to resolutions. Sources said the party may also pass a resolution to pay tribute to Vajpayee. Prime Minister Modi will address the concluding session on Sunday.
Asked whether the protest by upper castes could be discussed, Hussain said party will discuss “contemporary issues”.
Another party leader said the initiatives by the Centre for welfare of the poor, like the Ujjwala scheme for LPG connections, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and the Mudra loan scheme would be highlighted in the meeting.
The party may also explore strategies to face the challenge of Opposition unity.
A senior party leader said, “As the national executive is meeting after a long time, key decisions the Central government took in the past one year would be highlighted. The decision on SC/ST Act might find a mention in the resolution because it has changed the perception that BJP is anti-Dalit.”