The Bharatiya Janata Party is hoping to keep its focus on highlighting the United Progressive Alliance's failings at the two-day conclave in Patna this weekend, rather than all the internal problems that have surfaced in the aftermath of the selection of candidates for the recent Rajya Sabha elections.
So far, the plan is that three resolutions will be adopted at the meeting of the party's national executive committee on June 12 and 13 — and each of the three resolutions will target UPA-II. Be it tackling Maoist insurgency or bringing relief to the common man reeling under food inflation, the government has failed, party spokesperson Shahnawaz Husain said here on Wednesday.
Mr. Husain said the third resolution would also be about the manner in which UPA-II was “challenging the federal structure of the Constitution” by giving step-motherly treatment to States ruled by parties other than the Congress. Though he had no facts or figures to support his allegation, he said the Centre was giving much less money to the BJP-ruled states than what was due to them. “I know funds promised to Bihar have not been released.”
The meeting will end with a rally at the historic Gandhi Maidan. The BJP has promised a big show and said it will signal the start of the party's campaign in Bihar, where elections are due in three or four months.
“We expected the people to support us on the basis of the performance of our coalition government,” Mr. Husain said, claiming better law and order, smooth silky roads and better governance on all fronts, except the power situation, “which we will improve in the next five years if given a chance to form a government again.”
The rally will be a BJP show. Its partner, the Janata Dal (United), has not been invited, Mr. Shahnawaz indicated, when asked whether Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would address the rally. He avoided answering another question whether Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and rising star Varun Gandhi would address the public meeting. The indication is that the party will not include them in the list of speakers, for fear of annoying the JD (U) which does not want to be tainted by the anti-Muslim tag attached to Mr. Modi and Mr. Gandhi.
But whether the BJP will be able to focus its anger on the UPA remains to be seen, for the simmering discontent in the party over the Rajya Sabha nominations, and the lop-sided office-bearers list which leaves some States out and gives more than the due share to others has been criticised. The handling of the Jharkhand crisis led veteran leader Murli Manohar Joshi to describe it as a theatre of the absurd. There are others who feel that Mr. Gadkari acts and speaks like a corporate CEO rather than a political leader.
On the issue of listing the caste during the ongoing census, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has found fault with the party line in favour of caste-based enumeration. Will this issue come up? There was no answer from party bigwigs. Will the former leaders such as Jaswant Singh and Uma Bharati begin the trek home to the BJP? Again, there is no answer. The party cadre is waiting for the conclave to throw some light, but will it?