Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha hints at early polls
Accusing the Congress-led UPA government of all-round failure, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Monday appeared to hint at the possibility of early Lok Sabha polls. Addressing a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s women’s wing here, she said: The BJP’s Mission 2014 can be Mission 2013 looking at the state of this government.”
“We could not be part of the freedom struggle; we were born after 1947. But now, be part of the freedom from Congress battle,” she exhorted, addressing the BJP Mahila Morcha.
The senior BJP leader said the people of the country were fed up with the UPA government and waiting to throw it out.
Describing the BJP as the only viable alternative to the Congress, Ms. Swaraj said the party would, in the coming Assembly elections, have to wrest States from the Congress and successfully defend those where it was in power. As political activities gain pace in the run-up to the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, Ms. Swaraj asked party workers to propagate the achievements in BJP-ruled States and highlight the “failures” of the Congress-ruled States as well as the Centre.
“In States like Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, where we are in power, [our] workers should enumerate the various achievements of our governments while in Delhi and Rajasthan, you should tell the people about the failures of the Congress there and at the Centre,” she said.
Turning to the safety issues of women, she said: “Indian women have reached [outer space] and have achieved so much, but it’s a shame that women are not safe here. We have a four-point programme for women when we come to power. It’s our declaration and mission.”
Ms. Swaraj asked the party’s women’s wing to address relevant issues when reaching out to women: “There is no need to tell the women about [GDP figures and agricultural growth]. You talk to them about their pain... When you reach out to a woman from a slum, or a woman from an affluent section, talk to them about their specific concerns and high prices of essential commodities.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of indulging in vote-bank politics and said the ruling party’s approach had raised serious concerns about the nation’s security.
“Until the Congress party [separates security issues from vote-bank politics], the nation’s security will remain an issue of concern,” Mr. Jaitley said.
“Congress leaders are [now] meeting families of those killed in the Batla House encounter. But did they stand by those cops [when they were] killed or visit their families?” he said.
“The nation feels insecure due to the politics of this government… Maoists are expanding, but the Central government has neither the will nor the power nor the ability to deal with them,” Mr. Jaitley said.
Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari charged the Congress with creating fear psychosis in the minds of the minorities — particularly Muslims — about the BJP.
“They [the Congress] are giving this wrong impression for vote-bank politics... We follow a policy of neither appeasement nor discrimination. BJP is not against Muslims but against terrorism,” he said.