Gadkari terms Congress a sinking ship, predicts snap poll

In a clear message to investors, the Bharatiya Janata Party declared on Wednesday that if voted to power, it would reverse the UPA government’s decision to allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

The announcement came at the party’s national executive meeting here. Party president Nitin Gadkari talked about the possibility of the United Progressive Alliance government falling under the weight of its own contradictions, paving the way for a snap poll.

The meeting finalised the agenda for the two-day national council session that will begin on Thursday.

Besides reviewing the current political situation, the 1,200-member council will ratify an amendment to the party constitution to allow the president to have a second term.

The amendment, approved at the party’s national executive meeting in Mumbai in May, will put Mr. Gadkari at the helm whenever the next general election is held. To secure a second term, Mr. Gadkari has to make peace with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The former Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is miffed at the leadership ever since he was forced to step down over a year ago after allegations linking him to the illegal mining scam emerged, was the only notable absentee.

The leadership is convinced that the party will reap rich dividends in the general election from the travails of the ruling alliance if only it keeps its house in order.

Indicating that the BJP was in no hurry, Mr. Gadkari reiterated that if the UPA fell on its own, the party was ready for polls. The leadership believed that victory in the Assembly elections, due in the next few months where the party has huge stakes, would help it position itself as a party that could lead an alliance in the next Lok Sabha polls.

Briefing reporters party chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad quoted Mr. Gadkari as saying that the Congress-led government was a “sinking ship” and elections could be held anytime.

He lashed out at the Congress for allegedly using the CBI as an “instrument of Congress ally management.” It was time for the CBI to have a window at the Congress headquarters, he said.

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