Neena Vyas

NAGPUR: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, L.K. Advani, who concluded the 3-day party conclave here on Sunday returned to his favourite formulation of “pseudo-secularism,” saying the real fight was between the “secularists” (meaning the BJP and the RSS and its affiliates) and the “pseudo-secularists,” that is, the Congress, the Left and others. He rejected the description of the BJP as a communal party.

It was during the Partition that he had asked the then RSS chief, M.S. Golwalkar, what secularism meant. “It was from Guruji [Golwalkar] that I learnt about secularism when I talked to him soon after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi,” Mr. Advani admitted. He added that he had told him India was a Hindu majority state, therefore, a Hindu state.

He recalled his 50-year long association with the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and said it was the second National Council he had not been able to attend due to ill-health. He said he wished him a speedy recovery.

Modi targets UPA

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said the government was doing nothing to investigate the Indian connection in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks because of its vote bank politics.

Mr. Modi alleged that before the Vajpayee government took office in 1998, the discourse between India and Pakistan remained Kashmir centric. The Vajpayee government successfully made terrorism the focus of India-Pakistan dialogues. This, unfortunately, had once again been reversed by the UPA, under which Kashmir had once again become the focal point of discussions between India and Pakistan.

Mr. Modi termed the “UPA coalition culture” one about “the welfare of coalition partners” as opposed to the National Democratic Alliance which, he claimed, was all about welfare of the country. He attacked the UPA for neglecting infrastructure, especially construction of national highways, started by the Vajpayee government.

Party general secretary Arun Jaitley introduced the political resolution and Sushma Swaraj was among several leaders who spoke during the discussion on it.

Almost all speakers, including Mr. Modi, showered praise on Mr. Advani suggesting that he would be able to lead India to strength and prosperity.

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