Full text: Rajanth Singh's speech at National Council meet
New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath on Sunday addressed the National Council meeting at Ramlila Maidan in the national capital. He hit out at the Congress saying there is a desire for change in the nation. He said, "The restlessness for change is clearly visible in these currents. The desire for this change can be seen in the minds and hearts of the people of my country."
He also highlighted BJP's spectacular victory in three of five states that went to polls in November and December last year.
Full text of the speech:
We met in the same city of Delhi almost 10 months ago when the last National Council meeting was held here. Much water has flown down the Ganges since then. The restlessness for change is clearly visible in these currents. The desire for this change can be seen in the minds and hearts of the people of my country. These aspirations for change are not merely for the change in the government, but also against the despair caused by crushing the people's dreams and hopes on the credibility of India, constitutional system and economy as well.
The people of the country are looking for change which has been indicated in the recently held Assembly elections in the four states of India. The Bharatiya Janata Party registered an emphatic victory in all of the four states. We not only succeeded in coming back to power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the third consecutive term, but also got a thumping majority in Rajasthan against the misrule and mal-governance of the Congress there. This all is historic in itself about which each BJP worker could be proud of. For all this, I would like to congratulate a very popular Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan who symbolizes in him the virtues of simplicity, public service and accessibility along with Dr. Raman Singh who with his unquestioned commitment and dedication to the people of the state was able to take BJP to victory again even in the face of very unfavourable conditions in one of the most difficult areas of the country, that is Chhattisgarh. At the same time, I feel happy to congratulate all the workers who played a vital role in creating this history.
I also congratulate Mrs. Vasundhara Raje Scindia whose continuous struggle against anti-people governance of the Congress, organizational skills and management expertise led the BJP to a huge achievement in winning of people's confidence and support. The credit also goes to the party workers of Rajasthan for this unprecedented majority to the BJP in the state.
In Delhi too, under the leadership of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, BJP emerged as the largest single party, a few seats short of majority. We are proud that the Party stuck to the politics of principles; on the other hand some other political parties, with the sole motive and politics of 'Stopping the BJP' entered into opportunistic alliance at the alter of all 'principles and resolves'. We and the whole nation have been witness to this unholy trend in India's politics for the last many decades. I congratulate Dr. Harsh Vardhan and all the workers of Delhi for being number one in the line of winning the confidence of the people of Delhi by winning the largest number of seats in the Delhi Assembly.
I need not emphasize that the huge public support to the BJP in the recent Assembly elections is indicative of a huge public approval of good governance by the BJP governments and BJP's unquestioned commitment to the principles of good governance. I have talked about BJP's success in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. But we cannot forget an efficient and effective governance and productive and positive performance by the BJP governments in Gujarat and Goa where the work and style of governance under the leadership of Sh. Narendra Modi and Sh. Manohar Parrikar is receiving continuous support, appreciation and approval of the people without any reservation or exceptions.
It is a great occasion for me to thank and celebrate the Nation's scientists for their success in making indigenous cryogenic engine for successful launching of GSLV P-5 and for a new leap forward in the area of space research and, therefore for giving an occasion for being proud in an environment of all round helplessness and hopelessness prevailing in the minds of the people of India.
Friends, Lok Sabha elections are round the corner in the country. This election, unlike any other earlier election, is going to be a decisive election impacting the future of the nation. We know that the Congress led government in the last 10 years rule has frittered away all the gains of the BJP-led government under the effective, able and honest leadership of Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This is a matter of concern for every citizen of the country. The advent of the 21st century was greeted in India with a new dawn, with India touching new heights in the economic and social development and when the big companies of the world and global institutions were rushing to invest in India and do business here. This resulted in the creation of employment opportunities to the crores of the youth of India. India was known for its progress and was cited as a success story. The Congress government has put the entire process of progress in a reverse gear. The companies who were eager to come and invest in India are now rushing towards the exit. Now many believe that Indian success story is over.
Everyone knows that there are so many possibilities and hopes before a beginning is made, but the loss or failure in that process (of beginning) puts a big question-mark on its credibility. People start losing confidence and trust in your capability and capacity. It becomes difficult to regain that lost trust. India is facing something of that nature. Therefore, the next election would decide whether that lost trust of the world would be regained or not. I am confident that India would regain its glory and credibility once the BJP comes to power. The Indian success story is not over. It is waiting for BJP to come back to power.
The internal situation in the country is frustrating. The common man's backbone is being broken by crushing inflation. Corruption has broken all records in the history of independent India. It does not mean that there was no corruption under the earlier regimes. Serious allegations of corruption were leveled against the minority govt. of Shri PV Narsimha Rao and also against Shri Rajiv Gandhi government which enjoyed overwhelming majority. But the present UPA govt. not only indulged in massive corruption, but also misused the official machinery and weakened and destroyed all constitutional systems to cover up and defend corruption in the most arrogant, shameless and unacceptable manner.
Even though, all these scams and scandals must be fresh in your memory, it is essential to remind two or three main points here.Most importantly this government has eroded the prestige of the Prime Minister's office and that of the Cabinet. Recently, the Prime Minister himself has accepted the existence of two power-centres in his government.
In July 2010, the whole of monsoon session of Parliament was lost to the obstinacy of the government on the issue of the constitution of JPC on 2G scam. How JPC was constituted after the intervention of the Judiciary and how the report of the PAC was treated is all before the country. The whole nation was a witness to the mutual support agreement made by the Congress with the BSP and SP which were deeply involved in several cases of corruption and loot to prevent the PAC report to be presented before the House. The same PAC before which the PM himself was prepared to appear and later went back on his words was rendered ineffective is also before us all. Never before in the history of India such a brazen attempt to ruin the institutions of parliament and parliamentary committees was made as was done during the time of this government.
Misuse of CBI in the Coal scam, filing of false or wrong affidavit before the Supreme Court and then disappearance of the files when demanded to be produced before the court are some of the unparallels in the history of governance in India.Such shameless efforts to save and shield the corrupt and the insensitive comments of the ministers on inflation and corruption have completely shaken the faith of the common man in the whole system.
Every citizen of this country with a love for the nation and her people is perturbed at what has happened in the last 10 years on the matters of national security along the borders, apart from the international and internal conditions. In the last 3-4 years China has violated our boundaries almost hundred times and showing aggression on many occasions in the areas from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh. Indian government remained a mute spectator. Not only this, Pakistan had the courage to cut the Heads of our soldiers and celebrate on videos. But no other political party than the BJP and the common man of the country appeared to be concerned and agitated on this humiliating and inhuman behavior of Pakistan. On the issue of internal security, all the non-NDA political parties are against the enactment of an effective law against terrorism. Even when there has been enormous increase in the incidents of terrorism, it is tragic and unfortunate that India is the only country in the world which is the worst affected by terrorism and is still fighting against it without an anti-terrorism law.
It appears that the entire system has come to a halt. In this atmosphere of despair, it is natural for the common people to loose faith in the system.
It is well known fact that the recently held State Assembly elections have decimated the Congress while the BJP has been voted to power with a renewed confidence and trust of the people. The Congress has come to terms with the definite defeat in the forthcoming Lok Sabha Election internally. But congress is a very shrewd player of politics. We all are a witness in the last 10 years to how Congress exploited the nation and conducted power-politics behind a 'mask' in the government. The Congress strategy as of now is to contain BJP by hook or by crook from getting majority or near majority and for that it has started a propaganda against the BJP with the help of some other forces.
Friends, we need a strong and effective government at the Centre, If we want freedom from bad governance of the Congress responsible for the present threatening internal and external situation in the country and also for the restoration of the credibility of constitutional institutions and for providing relief from the miseries being suffered by the common men that were unleashed by the Congress led UPA government. The Congress gets shaken even at the idea of return of such strong government under an effective and decisive leadership of the BJP. Congress is afraid of the BJP because it knows that the track record of BJP's good governance in states like Gujarat, MP and Chhattisgarh, would put a question-mark on the political relevance and existence of Congress. Therefore, Congress wants a weak and helpless permissive government and BJP wants a strong government. The whole objective is to install a government in the Centre that could be, like in 1977, 1989 and 1996, destabilized and Congress government through the politics of power and pelf or compromises and mutual cover-ups could be put in place.
The nation is passing through a very critical phase today. The governor of the Reserve Bank of India is also in agreement with the fact that a weak government at the centre might lead to further deterioration in the economy and economic conditions. Naturally, it, by implication, means that only strong government, which can be guaranteed by BJP and BJP alone, can effectively deal with twin monstrous problems of inflation and unemployment.
Friends, you have seen since 1977 till today that if there is any viable and reliable alternative to Congress, it is the BJP alone. The vote to any other party that may apparently look like a great opponent of Congress and might use the strongest possible condemning language against Congress during elections might enter later in an alliance with the same Congress. This helps congress in perpetuating its misrule from behind the scenes.
There used to be a time when congress was at the pivot of Indian Politics and all of other political parties, directly or indirectly, used to make collective efforts to contain it. Now the situation has changed. Today the opportunist political parties including Congress are colluding together directly or indirectly to stop the BJP. It shows that now the BJP is at the center-stage of Indian Politics and is indicative of the end of Congress era and the beginning of the BJP era.
I had stated in the national council of BJP held last year in Delhi that 20th country belonged to the Congress in the politics of India and the 21st century shall belong to the BJP. The events in the last one year appear to be taking India's Politics in that direction only. Therefore BJP is the only alternative to make a Congress free India.
I sincerely accept that the conditions created by Congress in the country have pushed the common man towards all round deep sense of helplessness, hopelessness and frustration but it is equally a fact that a person's patience, maturity of mind and capacity to follow truth are tested only during the time of the deepest helplessness and hopelessness. The Congress is trying its best, with use of this frustrating environment by its allied political parties, to prevent BJP from giving to the country a strong and capable government under its leadership. I would like to be candid with the people of my country that if the Congress succeeds in its political strategy to govern from behind the curtains, it would give rise and strength to the politics of instability in the country. The examples from our own country and from abroad have established that such unstable conditions give birth to either of the two types of leaders- one who would be engaged in an unrestricted and unrestrained neck deep corruption or the one who would ruin and tear, for the sake of vote-bank politics, the whole social fabric or it may give rise to a leadership who would make dangerous compromises with the national security or the one who in a bid to image-building or because of immaturity, would try to change democracy into a mobocracy. We will have to remember very cautiously and consciously that it is not enough to dethrone those who are deeply involved in the sharing of the loot but it is equally important to disapprove conglomeration of people without any ideological footing to run the government.
I have complete faith in the maturity and intelligence of the people of India and am confident that they will not create any such situation. The people of India will give a decisive verdict in favour of the BJP under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi who is capable to solve the problems facing the country. What is the solution of the problem?
Its solution does not lie in any single issue, or a single strategy or method, but through a tested, honest, multi-dimensional leadership which can provide to the nation four things.
The condition today however, is totally contrary to the above.
The world economy going through a phase of crisis is not something abnormal but when a government continues with wrong policies with wrong intentions then the crisis transforms into a contagion. Today the same thing is happening to the Indian economy. The source of this malaise is not economic but political in nature.
The wheel of country's development which was moving at a pace more than 8 percent during the NDA regime has now slowed down below 5 percent. The indication of economic slowdown was evident as soon as the UPA came to power in 2009 but five years since then the government has only made hollow promises without yielding any substantial result.
Today most of the large economies in the world are 'Reviving', the Indian economy facing the problem of 'Surviving'. Last week the government released key economic figures which paint a gloomy picture of our economy. I am concerned over the indifference of the 'economist prime minister' as it raises an important question that why has he failed to act when the economy continues to be in the doldrums.
Last week the November IIP data was released and indicated that the industrial production contracted at the rate of 2.1 per cent. It is not something which could be dismissed as one off data. The average of India's industrial production from April 2013 has shown a steady decline.
During the global recession in 2008-09 the Indian economy stayed robust because the domestic demand had kept the growth intact. The UPA government could have capitalized on this inherent strength of our economy but it frittered away the advantage. Now the figures indicate that even the domestic demand is heading for considerable slowdown. The steep decline of 22 per cent in 'Consumer Non Durables' reflected in November IIP figures is an indication of decreasing purchasing capacity of Indian consumers.
The UPA government believes that increase in money supply will automatically boost domestic demand. If the money supply were to do wonders for the markets and Indian economy then the GDP growth rate would not have fallen to such abysmal levels. The money supply figures tell a different story. In 2006 the total money supply in India was 25 trillion Rupees which increased to 92 trillion Rupees in December 2013 but it has not helped in boosting either the demand or the growth.
If this increase in money supply had an impact on anything then it was the rampant inflation and corruption and the Congress led UPA government should be blamed for this. The economic principles suggest that inflation is a monetary problem affected by demand and supply but in India it is more of a political problem created by the incumbent government.
The problem of inflation and spiraling prices of essential commodities is closely linked to Congress misrule and corruption. Recently a group of economists from Turkey came up with a unique research which highlights the link between price rise and corruption. These economists conducted a comparative study of the data provided by Transparency International and the rate of inflation in the countries included in the list. Theyconcluded that corruption had a direct bearing on the price rise. As per Transparency International data India was ranked at 70th position in 2006 for transparency but it slipped to 94th rank in 2012-13. No wonder this was the period when inflation had gripped the entire Indian economy. Price rise is adversely affecting the people of the country but no concrete action has been taken against inflation during the UPA rule.
The economic management of the UPA government has also been miserable. We had its first glimpses when India's Current Account Deficit (CAD)ballooned to nearly 90 billion dollars. The rapid increase in CAD numbers engineered a dramatic collapse for Indian Rupee against the dollar and it was reduced to a 'senior citizen' in currency fraternity. This dramatic fall in Indian Rupee could have been used to increase our export numbers but there was no surge in Indian exports.
The government now claims that the Current Account Deficit will be kept within 60 billion dollar but the way the government has been undoing its own claim it is difficult to trust these projections. While presenting the budget last year the finance minister had claimed that the Fiscal Deficit would be limited to Rs 5.42 lakh crore in the fiscal year 2013-14. But the 94% of these budget estimates has already been spent in eight months and it leaves little room for the remaining four months.
The recently released figure of India's outstanding foreign debt is a cause for great concern. In March 2013 the total foreign debt was $390 billion which increased to 400 billion dollars in September 2013. The current Indian foreign exchange reserve does not provide substantial coverage for this massive foreign debt.
The increasing foreign debt numbers has adversely impacted India's credit ratings international market. When compared to other emerging economies India today has the biggest burden of foreign debt. While the Debt to GDP ratio of countries like Philippines, Indonesia and Turkey is below 50 percent, India's debt to GDP ratio is around 70 per cent (67.9%). Keeping these numbers in mind the international rating agencies like Moody's have expressed concern over the stress caused by it.
Due to slower growth rate, spiraling prices and the policy paralysis the domestic and foreign investors are increasingly getting frustrated and disillusioned from India. The government data itself indicate that in the first seven months of the current fiscal year there has been 15 percent decline in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country.
The UPA government is opening many sectors for FDI without any much deliberation or consultation. Recently the Centre opened even the Railways to FDI which is a 100 percent government enterprise. Before taking such key economic policy decisions Parliament and the opposition should have been taken into confidence but the central government is taking unilateral decisions. This tendency of taking hurried decisions without consulting the major stakeholders is impacting the process of disinvestment as well because it increases uncertainty. The government had set a target for disinvestment at 44,000 crore in the Budget but it has been able to generate only paltry 3,000 crore.
The BJP will have to take the onerous responsibility of bringing the economy back on track. Since Lok Sabha elections are around the corner we will have to place before the nation a clear and decisive 'Vision Document' and 'Manifesto' which would the pave the way for revival of the Indian economy.
Today the people want to know as to how we are going to transform the economy after coming to power. Therefore all the delegates who have come to this National Council have the duty to not only discuss the economic problems facing the country but also to spread awareness among the about the solutions deliberated here.
The BJP finds many inherent flaws in the present economic model. We believe that the current expanse and pace of development leaves a huge section of the country behind. Today there is a widening gap in the country, income disparities have increased and the economic autonomy of the country is dwindling. In this critical situation the BJP will have to formulate such economic policies which can bridge the gap, end the disparities, encourage enterprises and industry, serve farmers' interests and create employment opportunities for millions of our youth.
It is not an easy task but the BJP's economic and its leadership have the ability usher in the change required at the moment. On coming to power we will focus on infrastructure to provide faster economic development.
If we dream to become a large and great country then our infrastructure will have to keep pace with it. Atalji had led the first 'Infrastructure Revolution' in this country. At that time by the virtue of being the Water and Surface Transport Minister I got the opportunity to unveil Atalji's great vision for infrastructure projects. His mission is still incomplete. The responsibility to accomplish his mission will now be shouldered by our Prime Ministerial candidate Shri Narendra Bhai Modi. The BJP will increase the investment in infrastructure sector by doubling the share of infra investment to GDP ratio.
On coming to power the BJP will control the unrestrained Current Account Deficit and Fiscal Deficit. During the Atalji NDA government's regime India had become Current Account Surplus economy. We will again make India a Current Account Surplus economy. We will encourage exports reduce the CAD. We will chalk out an integrated plan to reduce unnecessary imports and increase manufacturing to promote the exports, after coming to power.
'Manufacturing' sector has to be encouraged if India has the dream to join the league of developed economies. We have cheap and competent labour but we are unable to take advantage of its availability because the present government has no will power to encourage and promote manufacturing industry. Our goal will be to increase the share of 'Manufacturing' to more than 20% of the GDP.
In building the infrastructure of this country not only the resources of the country will be utilized but we will also take the active support from large number of NRIs present in foreign countries.The saga of economic development of China was written by the people of Chinese origin living in foreign lands in tandem with the people of China.
To mobilize funds for investment in the infrastructure of India there is a need to develop Bond Market in the country where different institutions and agencies will be able to garner resources for infrastructure sector.
Keeping in mind the challenges of increasing urbanisation and pressure on cities in India BJP will chalk out a new 'Urban Renewal Plan' through which the capacity and potential of all the cities in the country will be fully realised.
The ability of any government to perform is tested through its decision making capacity, transparency and alertness. In the absence of these traits the path of economic progress is frequently obstructed. We have the example of UPA government regime before us due to where problems like delay in project clearance, misuse of resources, corruption and rise in project cost became a regular feature.To deal with all these problems the BJP will facilitate quick disposal of the cases related to environment, industrial development and land.
Simplification of the taxation system for greater relief:
The common man in India today is weighed down by numerous taxes. There is hardly any area of economic activity that is not taxed either directly or indirectly by the government. BJP is committed in principle that the common man must be provided some measure of relief from taxation.
On coming to power we will work towards simplification and rationalization of taxes for honest tax payers. Comprehensive reforms in the taxation regime will be initiated to expand the government's revenue stream while providing relief to taxpayers. The BJP reiterates its commitment to provide substantial relief to the income tax paying middle classes.
For the past many years a big chunk of our country's ill-gotten wealth has been converted into black money and remains stashed in foreign banks. This issue was raised for the first time by Shri Advaniji before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and it was said that we would make provisions to bring back the black money stashed in foreign banks after forming the government. We are glad that even outside the political arena this issue was strongly supported by eminent personalities like Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare. We are committed to the resolve expressed by Shri Advani ji even today. If the BJP comes to power at the Centre we will bring back the black money stashed in foreign banks.
Agriculture and Farmers:
Our vision on agriculture and farmers has been clearly enunciated from the time of Janasangh. Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay would often remark that our aim should be to provide water to every field and work to each hand.The BJP continues to follow the same policy.
The present government's policies are anti-farmer. Of late we have been hearing a lot about how sugarcane farmers across the nation have been agitating to protest the denial of fair price for their produce. Here I would like to highlight the case of Uttar Pradesh where the state government has fixed the support price of sugarcane at a measly Rs 280 per quintal.
Despite their protests, the farmers in Uttar Pradesh continue to be deprived of the remunerative price for their produce. The government needs to work on a practical formula to provide them with immediate relief.
Having come from a farmer's family, I feel their pain and share the concerns expressed by the farmers. The primary reason behind their woes is low income, and even that is not always assured. If we form the government-
We will implement an insurance scheme to ensure regular income for the farmers based on the size of the land holdings.
We will provide alternative employment to at least one person from each farming family.
We will also form a special working committee to propagate the increasingly popular organic farming, which has been an intrinsic part of our agricultural tradition.
World Trade Organization and Food Security:
At the recently concluded WTO meeting in Bali, the Government of India may have been able to temporarily postpone the serious challenges pertaining to food security, but the storm clouds have still not cleared from the horizon. In Bali, the government has only been able to ensure safeguard to Indian interests on subsidy under WTO provisions only till such time a more lasting solution is found on the issue. It would have been better if the central government had been able to proactively work on a more permanent solution as the WTO provision for 10% subsidy to agriculture has already been breached. This will impact the support price extended to farmers as against 10%, there has been a 24% increase in subsidy.
Now if the support price of agricultural produce is not increased even as input costs keep appreciating, how will a farmer continue to till his land? Therefore, why didn't the UPA government assert itself at the WTO summit?
Actually, keeping in mind the forthcoming elections, rather than taking up the cudgels on behalf of the country's farmers, the UPA government has tried to postpone taking any clear stand at this stage. It is therefore imperative that only a farmer friendly government must take charge, and the BJP is most ideally suited to deliver on this front.
Farmer Markets:( Kissan Bazar)
The concept of 'farmer markets' must be implemented across the country to prevent middlemen from coming in between end-consumer and farmers. You may like to recall how the high prices of onion burnt a hole in the pocket of the common man during Diwali, but the farmers never even got to make a 10% profit on that spike. Therefore, if we have a process of direct sale-and-purchase, both the consumer and farmer will be equally benefited. There was a time when farmers would directly sell their produce to end-consumer at vegetable markets and special weekly Haats.
Unfortunately, modernization and vested business interests have sounded the death knell for vegetable markets and weekend markets. In the 21st century we need to revive these markets in each and every towns and cities of our country as organized retail will neither benefit farmers nor consumers.
You will be surprised to know that a country like the US where Wal-Mart enjoys a virtual monopoly in retail, the trend of farmer markets has been on the rise. For instance, while in 1970 the entire US had only 370 farmer markets, in 2010 their number has crossed 7,000. Australia, which didn't have a single farmer market in 1999, today hosts 150 such point-of-sales. In the US today, almost150,000 farmers are able to sell their produce directly to end-consumers.
On forming the government, the BJP will encourage farmer markets or 'Kisan Bazars' to encourage direct sale and purchase contact between the farmers and consumers. This will not only ensure better prices for farmers and cheaper goods for consumers, but will also help in significantly tackling inflation that has been a burden on the common man for the past several years.
Every nation is duty bound to ensure for its citizens the following four items: Security, Justice, Education and Health. In the rural India, the condition of health services is way below the internationally accepted standards, even though every single citizen of this country is entitled to living a healthy life. We will enshrine the Right to Health for the poorest of the poor through legislative provisions.
A challenge that has developed in the last ten years, and which is capable of dangerously impacting the social harmony in future, is that of growing economic disparity. The ever growing wealth of a small section of the population while another section is denied of even the most basic amenities is a major cause for concern. On forming the government we will work towards ensuring the equitable distribution of economic wealth.
It is the duty of the state to ensure that millions living below the poverty line are able to at least avail of the basic amenities. However, rather than keeping this section dependent on government doles, we will formulate a comprehensive job creation programme to make it self-sufficient. Our special job creation scheme for those living below the poverty line will ensure that the poorest of the poor are able to earn on their own with a renewed confidence.
Corruption Under the UPA Government:
Today all the citizens of this country are tired of the corruption under the UPA government. Accused of being party to scams of nearly Rs 5.5 lakh crores, it is actively trying to stage a cover up on the pretext of investigation.
The Note of Dissent submitted by opposition members in the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) formed to investigate the notorious 2G scam were conveniently edited to draft a favourable report. This report shouldn't be accepted as it bypasses all the questions which the JPC was supposed to find the answers. This blatant manipulation of democratic institutions and traditions to cover up incidents of corruption is unprecedented.
In Mumbai, in a similar development, the judicial commission constituted to probe into the 'Adarsh Housing Society' scam presented the report but it was rejected by the Maharashtra government at the instance of the Congress party as four of its former chief ministers were involved in it! Two hours before the report was to be tabled in the state assembly, the Maharashtra government rejected it in a cabinet meeting. Such a tearing hurry to give a quiet burial to a scam only serves to strengthen one's worst suspicions. Thereafter, the so called drama of reviewing the decision played out by everyone from the Maharashtra government to Congress Vice President made it amply clear that the whole thing was a complete farce.
Critical files in the coal blocks allocation scam, where the Prime Minister's office is directly involved, simply 'disappeared into thin air'. The UPA government is unwilling to admit that the so called disappeared files have actually been hidden somewhere. As this is an unusual occurrence, the Prime Minister needs to clear the air on this issue as he is directly linked to it. Disappearance of the files and the Prime Minister's studied silence are preventing the truth from coming out.
This silence of the Prime Minister has not only caused a loss of Rs1.86 lakh crores to the country's exchequer but has also severely hampered coal exploration in the country. Consequently, the country is forced to annually import millions of tonnes of expensive foreign coal even though India has sufficient reserves of the commodity to last it another 200 years.
The Congress government has pillaged the nation's valuable natural resources through the foulest means. In our bid to avoid such occurrences in future, our government will formulate a comprehensive and transparent policy for the exploration and allocation of natural resources.
Congress' Double speak on Lokpal:
The Winter Session of Parliament finally saw the passage of the long awaited Lokpal Bill. Although this was a historic occasion in India's parliamentary history, but the manner in which Congress went about trying to take credit for the bill's passage was completely misplaced. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee led NDA government too had tried to get the Lokpal Bill passed. And it was Atalji who had insisted that the office of the Prime Minister too should be brought under Lokpal's purview.
The renowned social activist Anna Hazare had led a mass movement demanding constitution of Lokpal. Therefore, if one person can be credited for the passage of the bill, it is Anna Hazare and if there is one institution that can be credited for the same, it is the temple of our democracy, the Indian Parliament. As a responsible opposition the BJP extended its full support to the government on Lokpal Bill. However, Congress' hypocrisy on the issue of corruption is laughable and against the established norms.
The BJP is of the view that the passage of Lokpal Bill alone will not put an end to corruption as it is one of the instruments in a big struggle. In order to create a strong anti-corruption sentiment in the country, we need to ensure the passage of several other bills such as Goods and Services Guarantee Bill, Whistleblower Protection Bill and Protection of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, etc.
The BJP has not merely issued statements but has also proactively moved on Lokpal. I would like to remind you that the first government in this country to introduce and adopt the Jan Lokpal was the General Khanduri-led BJP government in Uttarakhand.
Internal and External Security:
The internal and external security of the nation has been compromised under the UPA rule. The serial blasts at the Patna rally of the main opposition party prove that both the Centre and the state government of Bihar have failed to take the threat posed by terrorism seriously.
Although the states are responsible for maintaining law and order and terrorism is a national problem, therefore, it is beyond the means of a single state to resolve it. But instead of acknowledging the gravity of the problem by enunciating a national policy or programme, such policies are pursued that go against the very spirit of our federal structure.
Certain political parties view drive against terrorism through the prism of communalism. As a result of vote bank politics these parties try to outdo each other by drumming up sympathy for terrorists, and only serve to further undermine national interest and internal security.
I would like to cite the Batla House encounter as a case in the point. After that incident almost all non-NDA parties - from the oldest to the newest political outfits and from the ones perceived as the most corrupt to those that lay claim to being the most virtuous - joined the chorus with Congress in expressing sympathy for the alleged criminals and mocking the sacrifices of the martyred security personnel.
Had the Congress not started playing vote bank politics on the issue of terrorism, I can tell you that our security forces would have had a definite edge in the war against terror today.
Just as with internal security, the nation's external security has also been weakened and compromised due to the UPA government's misguided and clueless policies. Taking advantage of the situation Pakistan and China have caused serious psychological harm to the self-esteem of our armed forces. Last year Pakistan army beheaded some of our soldiers after entering our territory, violated ceasefire agreement several times along the border and abetted terrorists' attempt to infiltrate into the Indian territory.From Havana in 2007 to Sharm-el-Sheikh in 2009, the UPA government's policy vis-à-vis Pakistan has been one of surrender.
China also seems to have decided that it is within its right to enter the Indian territory. The Chinese army was involved in hundreds of incidents of violation of the LAC. Despite that, in October Dr Manmohan Singh went ahead with his China trip to sign Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA). The Clause 06 of this agreement clearly spells out that in the eventuality of an infiltration, neither side will take recourse to the use of force. What a strange agreement is that? With the Prime Minister having forced the hands of our armed forces down how can we expect our borders to be safe?
The year 2014 has arrived with even more serious challenges for India internal and external security. With the US led coalition forces set to start withdrawal from Afghanistan this year, there is every possibility that terror groups, including al-Qaeda, active in that country may turn their attention towards India. We must not forget that post the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989 there was a sudden rise in terrorist activities in India that caused severe damage to life and property. If our government is voted to power, mindful of this scenario we will undertake stringent measures and also use our diplomatic expertise to create an environment favourable to the national interest.
Friends, terrorism usually thrives near a country's border areas. But the problem of Naxal terror has spread its tentacles in the central parts of our nation. Last year Naxalites killed several Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh. Even as the BJP denounces this dastardly act it urges the Centre and other political parties to set aside their differences to collaborate on a national policy to resolve the Naxal problem. The Naxal problem cannot be countered through legal or administrative measures alone. Other than a strong administration it will also require a holistic policy that is factors in political will, economic development and sensitization of the society.In this regard our Chhattisgarh governments work is commendable. If we form the government at the Centre, we will make a consolidated policy to deal with Naxal terror.
Neighbouring Countries and International Relations:
Hardly any peace loving person will disagree with the point that India must enjoy friendly and cordial relations with its neighbours. Although BJP too subscribe to the same view, however, diplomacy cannot be undertaken at the expense of national self esteem. The problem is the UPA government has made a disoriented and weak foreign policy central to its diplomacy.
The year 2014 is opening new avenues for India's diplomacy. To make the most of those opportunities, we need a government at the Centre that can establish cordial ties with all our neighbours even while never losing sight on the national interest. The BJP has the roadmap and vision that seeks to advance India's national interests through effective diplomacy. One of the first aims of the BJP on coming to power would be to improve our ties with our neighbours.
Since 2014 is a crucial year for India's security, we must extend our fullest support to Afghanistan in their hour of crisis. I had elaborated on my concerns around Afghanistan during my visit to the US last year. Now we find that the US view on Afghanistan too is changing.
India must work closely with Afghanistan and the US administration to extend any help or support that may be required.The Chinese firms are rapidly expanding their presence in Afghanistan. The Indian government should also work towards encouraging Indian investments into Afghanistan by working with the country's public and private sector.
BJP strongly denounces the ongoing violence and the atrocities being committed on the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh after the recently concluded general elections in the country. The elections have seen the Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League return to power. In its last tenure the Awami League government through its crackdown on fundamentalist and anti-India elements gave many positive signals.
The BJP congratulates Sheikh Hasina on again forming the government and expects her to display the same promptness in protecting minority communities and their places of worship that she showed in dealing with the extremist elements.On the issue of exchanging enclaves with Bangladesh the Centre should not ignore the public sentiment of the states which would be affected by such an agreement.
After going through severe political upheaval for over a decade things seem to be improving in Nepal. The newly elected constituent assembly first meeting has been fixed for January 22, and it is likely to put an end to political uncertainty in the region.
Nepal needs to be wary of anti-India elements active on its soil. The BJP hopes that the newly elected government of Nepal will be mindful of India's interests and will show the door to anti-India elements.
In the last couple of years Myanmar has been increasingly finding acceptance on the international arena. India can make the most of the restoration of peace and stability in Myanmar by providing improved connectivity to its North Eastern states. The Myanmar government is making all attempts to develop basic infrastructure in the country. As in Afghanistan, India must play an active role in rebuilding of Myanmar.
Unofficial trade and smuggling have been going on for a long time along the India-Myanmar border. The Indian government must facilitate trade and commerce between the people of the two nations by building trading outposts along the border.
Last month, the BJP's Manipur wing had highlighted how the fencing along the India-Myanmar border is causing loss of substantial Indian territory. I even wrote to the Prime Minister calling upon him to first resolve any outstanding border dispute with Myanmar before undertaking the fencing of the border.
India shares a long history of cordial ties with Sri Lanka. But ever since the UPA government took charge at the Centre, there has been a climate of mistrust between the two nations. Indian fishermen are routinely rounded up by the Sri Lankan navy as there is no clear agreement in place between the two countries on fishing rights.
Similarly, the UPA government's diplomacy completely failed to address the political, social and cultural aspirations of the people of Tamil origin in Sri Lanka.
In the history of post-Independent India if there is one country that has been consistently hostile towards our nation, it is Pakistan. There have been several attempts from the Indian side to improve relations with Pakistan, but most of them have more or less ended in failure. It is, therefore, time when our attitude towards Pakistan is dictated not by its pronouncements, but by its actions. The coming to the power of Nawaz Sharif government had kindled hopes that it could lead to a fresh start. Unfortunately, Pakistan has been unable to change its attitude. It is very much possible that the UPA government's clueless policy on Pakistan has encouraged that country to keep to its old ways.
While, on the one hand, the UPA government claims that it has no dialogue with Pakistan, on the other, the premiers of the two nations, lawmakers and officer have been having regular meetings. A meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan commences today (January 18). The government is taking great pains to clarify that the meeting not be seen as a "dialogue". Don't you find this strange? Will the ministers and officers of the two countries be meeting with their lips sealed? Who are you trying to fool?
Why is the UPA government so keen to get the 'Most Favoured Nation' (MFN) status from Pakistan? If Pakistan was really keen to improve relations with India it would have given the MFN status to India by now. Pakistan will have to change its attitude if it wishes to initiate a fresh dialogue with the government that is elected to power in India in 2014.
The formation of the BJP government in India will lead to better clarity and transparency in India's Pakistan policy. Pakistan will be conveyed clearly that if it wants to work closely with India it has to first change its thinking. Just a change of face alone won't help dispel the trust deficit.
China too like Pakistan has been creating multiple challenges for India. I have already mentioned about the intrusion by Chinese soldiers into the Indian territory. But what is even more worrisome is the fact that China is trying to create an anti-India atmosphere in our neighbourhood. And it's not just Pakistan that is under China's influence, but anti-India elements have become active in countries like Bhutan. Today China's global trade has surpassed 4 trillion dollars, which is two times the size of the Indian economy. China's growing economic clout is providing impetus to its geopolitical ambitions.
For the past few years, China has been consciously working to weaken India on the geopolitical stage. The UPA government has been completely failed to challenge the psychological warfare mounted by China against India.India-China relations can only improve when there is a decisive government at the centre. In Atalji's time the relations between India and China were far better.
After the 1962 war the only time that China ever gave up a territorial claim in India's favour was during the Prime Minister Vajpayee's visit to the country. At that time China abandoned its claim over Sikkim. This is a shining example of the BJP government's skill at effective diplomacy.
United States of America:
In 1998, when we formed government at the centre, despite American apprehensions we went ahead with Pokhran nuclear tests. Yet, by the time we left the government in 2004, a new found vigour had returned to the India-US ties. But during the UPA rule India's relations seem to have again reached a new low.
The undue harassment caused to an Indian woman diplomat on American soil is there for all to see. The US view on this incident is completely unreasonable and condemnable. The US has sought Pakistan's views on Bangladesh while completely ignoring India's interest. This is highly objectionable.
If the US considers India to be a friend and strategic ally, it must show in its behaviour. It is equally the responsibility of the Indian government that it ensures that India's self-respect is maintained in the bilateral ties. But, by far this government has completely failed on that front.
BJP's Global expansion:
There has been a constant rise in the popularity of BJP's policies and potential amongst the NRI and community of Indian Origin in the world. I felt it during my visit to USA last year. There, I was a witness to the immense popularity/ attraction of NRI's towards our prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Bhai Modi. Presently, on an International platform, there is a humongous increase in the number of people favoring BJP. The branches of Overseas Friends of BJP have been formed from Canada to Australia and from Dubai till European and African countries. They were able to successfully hold their first ever International convention in January this year.
The youth of a country are its biggest treasure and strength. If we wish to embellish the future of India, proactive involvement of the youth of the country is essential. The youth want change and for a brighter future, they are going to exercise their voting rights in high numbers in the upcoming elections. From their primary education to their employability, it is the responsibility of the government. For the last decade, the youth has been disappointed owing to lack of employment. If the youth are not gainfully employed then instability in the society will increase.
When BJP comes into power, then we will eradicate this disappointment and there will be a wave of enthusiasm. To enhance the employment opportunities in the country, we have to invest heavily on manufacturing industry, tourism, export-import, agriculture and food processing, IT and self-employment
Arrangements should be made to impart skill training to the youth according to their interest after their 10th grade so that they are aware of their role in Nation building.
To give ample opportunities to sporting talent in the youth, we will develop new sports development policy so as to establish India as a Sports power or Super power in sporting arena within the next 10 years.
To bring qualitative improvement in higher education the standard of all the Universities in the country will be enhanced. They require infrastructural improvement to develop wholesome tradition of 'research and development'. A network of Vocational Training centers after 12th grade is a requisite to stop making higher education as a means of attaining degrees.
We will encourage employment centric investments or we will ensure that at least one person from each family gets meaningful employment.
Similar to the youth, women also play an important role in development of a country. Unfortunately the scope of women empowerment in India is being restricted to political empowerment only. In this country along with political empowerment, they also require social empowerment. The Congress led UPA government has kept them weak on both the fronts.
Even after ruling for 10 years, the UPA government was unable to pass Women's Reservation bill. If owing to the pressure from the people/mass movement, the government can pass the Lokpal bill after a long interval, is it waiting for similar kind of pressure for Women's Reservation bill also?
The BJP is very worried regarding the increase in the number of crime against women in recent years. We have realized that just making the laws will not stop the rape or atrocities. For this we have to enhance the cultural and social awareness so that moral values are re-established in the society. These elements need to be incorporated in to the curriculum. Only then will we be able to achieve permanent solution regarding the perception of women.
Even after 67 years of Independence, more than 75% population from the schedule caste is devoid of the basic amenities in their lives. Not only are they poor and illiterate, but they lack social status also. Even today large number of posts reserved for them lie vacant because candidates from their group do not even have basic education. This is very worrisome and unlucky. Their upliftment is not just a political subject, but a well thought plan is necessary for their economic empowerment along with change social psychology. The BJP is going to look in to both these aspects with full responsibility.
When we had formed the government in the center, we were the pioneer in forming a separate ministry for the scheduled tribes. When we come in power we will again take effective steps to synchronize the development of Schedule tribes with that of the country. We will formulate a holistic development scheme for all the states with tribal population.
Keeping in mind their especial social and cultural necessities, we will make a separate department to conserve their culture. We will also work for getting favorable disposition towards their historical/ great personalities amongst the population, so that tribal population, along with their identity and self-respect merges with the country's/ nation's mainstream.
Telangana and Congress:
The UPA government which had promised to create Telangana as soon as it came in power, has not been able to achieve it even after 5 years. As the main opposition party we have given open support to the central government for this issue. Even then due to internal politics, government has not been able to take a final decision.
Due to Congress's hypocrisy regarding Telangana, the dissatisfaction and outrage in both Telangana and Seemandhra region has increased to a point where it is creating a sad and unfortunate situation for entire Andhra Pradesh. Instead for solving this, Congress is more interested in balancing its political equations.
After forming the government in the center, BJP will create Telangana and simultaneously form an Action Plan to find proper solution to the problems of the other areas of Andhra Pradesh.
The violence in Assam had not even settled down when the news of outbreak of violence came from Nagaland. Around 16 people have died in violence in Nagaland and hundreds were forced to leave their homes and live in refugee camps. Keeping in mind the gravity of the present situation, the Home ministry needs to take effective steps to stop the violence and make way for safe return of the Naga refugees from other states.
The construction of better roads in North Eastern states is still moving at a snail's pace. Roads in almost all the NE states are in a very bad shape. They should not be overlooked. This area shares boundary with many countries, therefore for strategic safety of India, it is essential that they have roads of International standards. Now when India has decided to form 17 Mountain Corp in Panagarh then BRO (Border Road Organisation) should hasten the construction of roads in the border areas of all the NE states.
Unfortunately even when the resources are adequate, the money allocated by the UPA to the BRO is not utilized in time. While the UPA is not being able to spend the money allocated for making roads on the border, China has constructed an all-weather road in Tibet which comes till the boundary of India in Zhamag which is adjacent to Arunachal Pradesh.
The BJP will take up the work of construction roads of international standard in the boundary areas of NE at priority basis, when it comes to power.
Jammu and Kashmir:
Owing to the wrong policies of the Congress government, the issue of J&K has been embroiled in problems since our independence. Due to its weak policies and Article 370, Congress has kept Jammu and Kashmir away from the mainstream of development in the country.
The BJP considers Jammu Kashmir as integral part of India. We are against giving leverage to any anti-national elements. We are resolute in getting development to the poor population of Kashmir, which they lack even after 67 years of independence.
We strongly condemn the questions being raised by Congress and its allies regarding the status of Kashmir in India. Besides being a subject of integrity of India, Kashmir strikes an emotional chord for the party as our founder Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee became a martyr for Kashmir cause.
Propaganda against BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Shri Narendra Modi
Last year to liberate the people of India from the misrule of the UPA government the BJP declared the most popular leader of the country Shri Narendra Bhai Modi who also had the experience of successfully running a government as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the party. The declaration made by the BJP not only raised the hope and confidence in the country but also sent a positive message to foreign countries.
Feeling helpless against the BJP and its Prime Ministerial candidate the Congress has resorted to propaganda and legal tangles. The Congress is getting defeated in legal battles as well.
The Congress has launched a campaign against Shri Narendra Modi based on lies and misinformation. The recent comments made by the Prime Minister were neither based on facts nor dignified for a person who holds a constitutional post. The SIT has given clean chit to Shri Modi in its report submitted to Supreme Court in 2011 itself. Few days back a court in Ahmedabad has dismissed all allegations against him. Inspite of this the manner in which the Prime Minister attacked him publicly was not only irresponsible but also highly condemnable.
For the past many years the Congress has been trying to bring discredit Shri Modi through its false propaganda and vote bank politics. Whatever had happened in 2002 during Gujarat riots was very painful. The Gujarat government took stern and swift action against the rioters. The Army was pressed into service within hours of the outbreak of violence. The Gujarat government fully cooperated with the investigations into all kinds of charges leveled against it by the outfits operating at the behest of the Congress but we never said that the files were missing or evidence had vanished. Many accused were sentenced by the courts. But the manner in which the witch hunting of Shri Narendra Bhai has been done for the past 11 years is completely unfair. If court absolves in one case then the government keeps some other conspiracy ready for him.On the other hand how many people were brought under book by Congress for 1984 riots. In place of that CBI has even filed closure report on its leaders.
The government should also clear its stand on the fact that recently came to light that the then Congress government had taken the Britain's help at the time of Operation Blue star.
Communal Riot and Communal Violence Bill:
It is an irony that almost all the non NDA parties in the country believe that to fight the global menace of terrorism with which even US and western countries are unable to fight properly no law is required. They believe that the sections of Indian penal code dealing with the crimes like robbery, decoity, goondaism, hooliganism, pickpocketing are good enough to fight terrorism but the sections of Indian Penal Code are not enough to deal with communal riots and new law should be made. People of this country are looking at this paradox.
The bill which the government is trying to bring in the name of fighting against communal violence is an effort inspired by vote bank politics and it will destroy the communal harmony and social fabric of the country.
I am saying this because when the Home Minister of this country gives a statement that caution should be taken in acting against youth from a particular community. In the history of India it is for the first time that Home Ministry has released separate lists of those killed in the Muzaffarnagar riots on communal basis. By doing so the Centre is indulging in the dangerous politics of giving communal colour to the communal riots.? Can an impartial law against communal violence be expected from such a government?
Politics of communal politics in Uttar Pradesh:
Under the Samajwadi Party rule in Uttar Pradesh more than hundred incidents of communal riots and clashes have taken place in less than two years. The Uttar Pradesh government itself accepts more than 30 communal riots having taken place. The central government in this entire period kept extending silent support to Uttar Pradesh government and refused to act.
Its lowest point of the communal situation in UP was recently seen in Muzaffarnagar. The sting operations shown on the main channels of the country have made it clear that had the Samajwadi Party not played vote bank politics the Muzaffarnagar riots could have been easily stopped. But even more unfortunate than this is that from controlling riots to instituting cases and in giving reliefs, everything appeared to have been inspired by the policies of communal vote bank politics. Had the court not interfered, the situation of communal tension would have reached to unimaginable levels.
Not only this, the Uttar Pradesh government tried to withdraw cases against the accused of 2007 bomb blasts in the state which has been struck down by the court. Never before in Indian history was such a blatant display of vote bank politics witnessed by the people.
I am surprised by the insensitive approach of the Uttar Pradesh government and the hypocrisy of the so called flag bearers of social harmony and secularism who have been shouting at the top of their voices against the Gujarat government now prefer to remain silent spectators. Therefore the Uttar Pradesh riots pose several unanswered questions before administrative, political, constitutional, social and intellectual world. I appeal to the section of the intellectual class of the country who are prejudiced against the BJP to free themselves of political prejudice and paly their role impartially to create social harmony in the country.
Appeal to the Karyakartas:
We have the responsibility to save democracy from the frustration, hopelessness and disappointment through which Indian democracy is passing today. India has all the potential to become a prosperous, capable and strong nation in the world. It is our responsibility to realise this potential. Today we have a unique situation where the challenges and opportunities are knocking at our door at the same time.
Almost a week ago the celebrations related to Swami Vivekanand Sardh Shatabdi (150 years) concluded with much fanfare. I would like to remind that Swami Vivekanand had said in 1901, " I am seeing that Bharat Mata equipped with her ancient powers and with grandeur is going to enthrone herself to guide the world."We can realise this dream of Swami Vivekananda by coming together. To realise this dream passion like karmayogi is needed. I believe that if we take a firm resolve to create an India of 'Vivekananda's dream' then we can start this process in 2014 itself.
Year 2014 is an extraordinary year. This year will not only bring a change in government but it will also impact the coming generations of our country as it will set the future course of a new contemporary India. Time has come to take the challenge head on with full vigour and enthusiasm. The bugle has been sounded. The beating of drums can be heard clearly. There is no scope for confusion or time to rest.
Friends, the sun of Sankarnti has moved towards Uttarayana. The time for snow in the hills to melt has come. The season is set to change. The Sun shines in its fully glory. In a couple of month the autumn will lead to sunny days and winds of change will turn into a storm. I have full faith that amid all kinds of adversities the BJP will be finally emerge stronger and it will mark a new beginning in the history of our country.
"Ab hawayen hi karengi roshani ka faisala,
Jis diye me jaan hogi who diya jal jaayega".