Debating India


Credibility gap hurts us all: Rajnath

Saturday 23 December 2006, by VYAS*Neena

"BJP has many PM hopefuls"

U.P. elections will pose a challenge for Election Commission Centre criticised for "appeasement" of Muslims

LUCKNOW: Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh on Friday stressed the need for a political party, its leaders, workers and ideology to enjoy credibility. Speaking on the opening day of his party’s three-day conclave here, Mr. Singh admitted that all parties and politicians were suffering from a credibility gap.

The BJP chief, who will begin a three-year tenure when the national council session begins on Saturday, was seeking to drive home the point that the BJP could change the common man’s perception that politics and politicians were not straight or clean.

The one-day meeting on Friday was the last session of the outgoing national executive committee.

U.P. regime targeted

Mr. Singh’s attack was focussed on the lack of governance in Uttar Pradesh and the "appeasement" of Muslims by the Congress at the Centre, themes the party has been talking about for some time.

He criticised the India-United States nuclear deal, saying it would compromise the country’s foreign policy.

He dwelt on farmers’ suicides, price rise, and the "bad economic management by the United Progressive Alliance Government." He charged the Centre with going slow on infrastructure projects started by the Vajpayee Government.

General secretary Arun Jaitley, who briefed the media, said Mr. Singh not only spoke of the need to give women political reservation but also stressed the importance of their economic emancipation.

Asked whether Mr. Singh talked about Ayodhya, his reply was: "Wait till tomorrow."

Senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi quashed any claim Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani may have made on being the party’s prime ministerial candidate.

At the executive committee, Mr. Joshi said the Lok Sabha elections were far away. When the time came, the candidate would be decided. "There are many leaders in the BJP" who would qualify to be the prime ministerial candidate. "Is there any shortage [in the party]?"

Mr. Joshi praised Mr. Vajpayee, saying he had magical charisma and was the party’s "foremost supreme leader."

No one could challenge his authority in the party.

See online : The Hindu

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