Freedom of expression, nationalism coexist, says BJP

Constitution gives full freedom for expressing dissent and disagreement, but not the country’s destruction, says Arun Jaitley explaining the political resolution adopted at the party's national executive meeting.

March 20, 2016 03:21 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:03 pm IST - New Delhi

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference on the BJP national executive in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference on the BJP national executive in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Amid a controversy over the recent JNU row, the BJP on Sunday said freedom of expression does not give a right to call for the country’s destruction, with the issue finding a pride of place in the political resolution adopted at its national executive meeting in New Delhi.

The issue of nationalism continued to take the centre stage in the deliberations after party chief Amit Shah set the tone in his inaugural address on Saturday saying the BJP will not tolerate any attack on the nation, with the dominant mood in the BJP being to put the Congress in a corner on the issue.

Briefing the media on the resolution, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said, “Freedom of expression and nationalism do necessarily coexist.” The Constitution gives full freedom for expressing dissent and disagreement, but not the country’s destruction, he said.

The Union Finance Minister, a key party strategist, also targeted the Congress over its political strength, saying the main opposition party has “lowered” its stature and was “content to be a tail ender of any alliance” in States like Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

“There was a time when the country was being governed without any sense of direction. There was uncertainty and lack of purpose. Now we have a government with a determined leadership, nationalist policies and progressive governance,” Mr. Jaitley said.

The resolution also spoke about economically and socially inclusive policies of the government, its thrust on infrastructure development and good governance, he said.

Though issues of government formation in Uttarakhand, where the Congress government is facing rebellion in its ranks, and Jammu and Kashmir did not come up for discussion at the meet, Mr. Jaitley said the resolution emphasised the party’s commitment to the agenda of governance in J&K.

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