Discussions will centre on party's strategies for Lok Sabha election

The political and economic meltdown of the UPA government will be the dominant theme at the Bharatiya Janata Party's two-day national executive meeting beginning here on Thursday.

Major discussions will centre on the party's strategies for the next Lok Sabha elections, as well as an analysis of its performance in the recent Assembly elections, given its poor performance in Uttar Pradesh and corruption and factionalism plaguing it in Karnataka.

The meeting will pass major resolutions on political, economic and agrarian situation, and a special one highlighting the drought in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The saga of betrayals, failures and unkept promises has led the UPA to be referred to as the United Paralytic Alliance, senior leader Venkaiah Naidu told journalists here on Wednesday.

The BJP was not demanding mid-term elections, but the UPA's allies were saying so. The absence of key UPA allies, the Trinamool Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, from the dinner to mark the completion of the coalition's three years in power indicated that the coalition was on a shaky wicket, Mr. Naidu said.

Agriculture growth was crawling at 2.5 per cent, industrial growth was down by 2.8 per cent, and bank rates were increased 13 times in the past six months, and the country was facing a 20 per cent power shortage. “To make matters worse, the rupee is sinking daily, losing 25 per cent of its value in barely a year and reaching a low of 55 against the dollar… No Mamata [Banerjee] or Karuna [Karunanidhi] for this lame-duck government,” he said.

The Manmohan Singh government, he said, was struggling to balance a coalition of barely half-a-dozen parties; in contrast, the BJP managed 23 parties that were part of the NDA while it was in power.

Mr. Naidu skirted crucial questions: whether Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will attend the meeting and whether Nitin Gadkari will be made president for a second term.

Despite emphatic assurances by national and State leaders in recent days that “everyone, including Mr. Modi, would have to attend the event,” the presence of the Gujarat Chief Minister or that of the former Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, remains uncertain.

Brushing aside the question on Mr. Gadkari, Mr. Naidu said it was “an internal matter which would be resolved in due course.”

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