‘Nationalism’ tops agenda as BJP national meet begins today

On Friday, the party inducted Kargil War hero Col Diptanshu Choudhry and declared that he will contest the West Bengal Assembly Election from Asansol South constituency.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: March 19, 2016 2:44:11 am
Union ministers J P Nadda and Rajyavardhan Rathore honour Kargil War hero Col Diptanshu Choudhry, who joined the BJP, in New Delhi on Friday. Praveen Khanna Union ministers J P Nadda and Rajyavardhan Rathore honour Kargil War hero Col Diptanshu Choudhry, who joined the BJP, in New Delhi on Friday. Praveen Khanna

From inducting a Kargil War hero into the party to discussing strategy against the “anti-nationals” at the top party meet, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leaving no stone unturned to keep the national discourse focussed on the nationalism narrative, an issue that has given it political mileage.

The message of an “intensifying battle between nationalists and anti-nationalists” are expected to be echoed in Amit Shah’s presidential address at the two-day national executive beginning Saturday, and two resolutions to be passed the following day, sources said.

On Friday, the party inducted Kargil War hero Col Diptanshu Choudhry and declared that he will contest the West Bengal Assembly Election from Asansol South constituency. Choudhry joined the BJP at the party headquarters in the presence of Union ministers J P Nadda and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

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The party national executive is expected to discuss strategy for not only the five poll-bound states but also next year’s elections in Uttar Pradesh.

“It is very important to us. The party will launch an intensive campaign in the state soon (and) discussions on it are high on our agenda,” a leader said.

The party brass, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah and senior leaders and ministers, will participate in the deliberations in which political and economic resolutions will be adopted. Shah will deliver the inaugural speech, and Modi the valedictory address.

With the Jat agitation in Haryana bringing up the controversial reservation issue, and turning out to be an embarrassment on its good governance slate, the two-day meet is expected to discuss strategies to prevent such violent agitation in BJP-ruled states. All states are expected to submit a report on their activities during the meeting on Saturday.

Another highlight of the discussions will be the strategy to reach the “pro-poor and pro-rural” annual Budget to the people. “This government is taking initiatives such as crop insurance and insurance schemes. But somehow the party has failed to reach the message to the poor. So the national executive will discuss devices to reach out to them,” a leader said. BJP office-bearers will meet first and the much larger party executive will get into a huddle in the afternoon. Among key issues on the agenda are the “disinformation” campaign by the Congress to “defame” the government, the Ishrat Jahan and JNU issues, and the Budget, a party leader said.

All top BJP leaders, including Shah, have of late slammed the Congress, particularly its vice-president Rahul Gandhi, for backing what the party calls “anti-national forces” in JNU. “We believe the issue has highlighted the Congress’s increasing ideological hollowness, and that the party can take up any cause in a desperation to target the government,” a source said.

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