Odisha News Insight

National Executive: BJP plans Land Bill Outreach

National Executive BJP plans Land Bill OutreachA generational shift was evident in more than one way as BJP concluded its two-day strategy meet here, with veteran L.K. Advani choosing to stay quiet as the party discussed its massive expansion plans.

At the meet, the first after it came to power in the country last year, the Bharatiya Janata Party also decided reach out to people to defeat the “disinformation campaign” of the opposition on the land bill.

Advani, one of the founder members of the party, did not speak at the meet, the second time in the history of the party founded in 1980 by him and Atal Bihar Vajpayee along with others. The other time he did not address a national executive meet was in June 2013 in Goa which he had skipped.

The ambitious membership drive launched by party president Amit Shah meanwhile received accolades with the numbers expected to touch 10 crore by the deadline of April 30. BJP leaders expect this will pump fresh blood and energy, involving large the masses in party activities.

Countering Congress’ portrayal of his government as “pro-corporate”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was for welfare of “the poor, dalits, exploited and deprived” sections of society.

He asked the party to observe next year “Garib Kalyan Varsh (Poor Welfare Year)” and said his clean India campaign was also aimed at helping the poor as lack of cleanlines leads to diseases.

He accused the previous UPA government of acting in the interest of corporates and urged party workers to rebut “falsehoods” of Congress with confidence and statistics.

Shah, in his address, said that the party had pledged to end manual scavenging by 2016.

The stage was however dominated by the contentious land acquisition bill with an aggressive BJP appearing ready to go at length to get it through.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, addressing a press conference after the meet ended, said though the government will try to get the bill passed as it is now after amendments in Lok Sabha, it is open to suggestions, if the opposition agrees for a discussion.

Party leader and union minister Nirmala Sitharaman admitted that the party was worried about the disinformation campaign on land bill and the “campaign against the reforms we are bringing”.

The minister said a detailed power point presentation was made on the bill and the party members will go and spread the message.

Jaitley said the land acquisition bill passed by the UPA government in 2013 was “anti-farmer” as it “prevents rural roads, housing in rural areas and rural electrification” and the BJP will campaign among people to explain benefits of the new bill.

Referring to the bill brought by the NDA government, he said the proposed industrial corridors will provide jobs to all including the landless and the Dalits.

On Advani’s silence, Jaitley refused to say what was the reason behind it. A party leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, however said it was Advani who decided not to speak.

On the remarks of union minister Giriraj Singh having created an uproar, Jaitley said controversies were unnecessary and every party member should realise his responsibility.

Another issue that has created trouble for the government – the alliance with People’s Democratic Party to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir- was also discussed at length.

Jaitley said the party “endorsed” the government decision to be a part of coalition government there.

The political resolution adopted at the meet said the country had “witnessed faster change, greater transparency with high growth” in the past 10 months thanks to “a government and a leader they (people) have faith in”.

It also recalled contributions of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani in building the party. (IANS)

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