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Introspection, image-building to top BJP meet agenda - The Observer

K V Lakshmana ()
12 November 1996

Title : Introspection, image-building to top BJP meet agenda
Author : K V Lakshmana
Publication : The Observer
Date : November 12, 1996

Far from being demoralised by the present political
situation, a section of the Bharatiya Janata Party views
its current setbacks in UP and Gujarat as a temporary and
passing phase, but admits serious introspection is a
necessity to forge ahead.

Introspection and formulation of an action plan to propel
the BJP to greater heights form part of the agenda of the
three-day national executive meet of the party beginning
at Jaipur on Friday. The BJP leadership will also evolve
a strategy to counter the anti-BJPism of the rest of the
political parties and chalk out ways and means to grow
despite this phenomenon.

Besides, the BJP will draw up a plan to "expose" the
contradictions among the constituents of the United Front
on the H D Deve Gowda government's economic policies.
The BJP leaders charge that the economic situation de-
teriorated considerably since Gowda government assumed
office in June.

However, the political situation in the country, particu-
larly the BJP's poll setback in Uttar Pradesh and its
humiliating reversal in Gujarat, is set to dominate the
three-day session that comes on the eve of the winter
session of Parliament.

BJP general secretary and spokesperson Ms Sushma Swaraj
told newsmen that a political resolution capsuling the
political drama in UP and the role of governor Romesh
Bhandari would be one of the main items of the meet
agenda. The session would also discuss the Gujarat situa-
tion, which has cast a shadow on the party's disciplined

A Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh, Sanghpriya
Gautam admitted, "There are certain weaknesses within our
organisation, but still the BJP is the best in comparison
to all other political parties when it came to values,
principles, probity in public life, nationalism and firm
stand on key issues." "The party leadership has identi-
fied the problems and has worked out the solutions and
action is set to begin soon," said the BJP elder, who
entertains hopes of another nomination to the Upper

In fact, the forthcoming national executive meet will
devote considerable amount of its attention and time on
the post-Gujarat and post-UP assembly election aspects of
the party, with an objective to apply the correctives.

Stating that party president L K Advani became stronger
after the UP elections, "since he was detached from the
nitty-gritty of electioneering and related exercises," Mr

Gautam expressed the confidence that the BJP was peopled
by such luminaries that the party would grow to greater
heights and secure power at the Centre.

"But, before that certain corrective steps are essential.
The party leadership is aware of the deficiencies and is
poised to act. Wait until the national executive is
over, where collective decisions will be taken," he said.
He added that the first and foremost was an overhaul of
the selection procedure for candidates for elections
which was "somewhat faulty." Otherwise, the outcome would
have been crystal clear and no amount of "gubernatorial
interference" would have stopped the BJP from forming a
government at the Centre, he asserted.

Several other BJP sources also echo Mr Gautam's senti-
ments in this regard. "As many as 50 seats were jeopar-
dised on account of inappropriate selection of candi-
dates," a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh said.

It is but natural that the Bharatiya Janata Party nation-
al executive will dwell at length on Uttar Pradesh and
discuss the report of a five-member committee.

The meet will also chalk out a fresh strategy to counter
the out and out anti-BJPism of the rest of the political

"It is the negative politics by the rest of the political
parties that is responsible for the current impasse in
UP," Ms Swaraj said.

She said that "there is a need to devise a foolproof plan
to counter the anti-BJPism of the so-called secular
parties as well as to grow despite this phenomenon of
other power-hungry political parties."

The role of the governors will also come under close
scrutiny at the meet.

Ms Swaraj went as far as to charge the Centre with bla-
tantly misusing the constitutional provisions to deny the
BJP its rightful place.

The dismissal of the Sureshbhai Mehta government in
Gujarat, she said, was a clear a case of blatant viola-
tion of Constitution, coming especially after he had won
majority on the floor of the House.

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