The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Beaten BJP in govt battlecry

New Delhi, Oct. 27: The BJP national council today gave a call to oppose the Congress-led government which, it said, was 'weakening' India's security and neglecting governance.

Another charge against the central coalition was it had declared 'adherents of the nationalist ideology' enemies.

The political resolution, adopted unanimously without a discussion, said under new chief .K. Advani, the BJP would 'successfully' overcome the challenges before it. But there was scarcely an attempt in the addresses by Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the resolution itself to reflect on why the party had lost election after election and what corrective steps were needed.

While Advani cited three reasons ' 'disconnect' between 'good governance and the electoral outcome', overconfidence and neglect of constituencies by MPs ' Vajpayee's only comment was: 'Those who were defeated cannot understand why they lost and those who won cannot understand why they did.'

The resolution said Advani will be assisted by the party's 'many highly talented and experienced functionaries belonging to the younger generation'. Above all, it added, the party will continue to have 'valuable guidance' from Vajpayee, 'India's most respected elder statesman'.

'All these strengths, combined with the immense trust, goodwill and support that the BJP enjoys all across the country, will undoubtedly enable the BJP to surmount the challenges before it and stage a comeback.'

Advani based his projection of political instability on a report by the Deutsche Bank which, he said, spoke of how the NDA ran its term without 'bickerings' mainly because the allies at the Centre were also partners in states where they were dominant. In contrast, though the Left backed the UPA at the Centre, it was pitted against the Congress in two states ' Bengal and Kerala ' which go to polls in 2006. 'The report predicts closer to the elections, the tensions between the two could intensify and a mid-term poll might be inevitable,' he said.

Vajpayee said: 'We ran a 24-party coalition but it was stable. Today, everyday there are bickerings in the ruling coalition. This has not gone down well outside the country. The same questions which were raised when we first formed a government are being articulated again. Will it last'

He added: 'We have to fulfil the role of an Opposition, run our state governments well and create a situation in which everybody recognises the importance of having a stable central government.'

The resolution took the UPA to task for denigrating the Prime Minister's post and imperilment of internal security. 'An alternative centre of power, which is widely recognised as being stronger than that of the PM, has emerged in the form of the chairperson (Sonia Gandhi) of the so-called National Advisory Council. A third centre of power, which has also lowered the status and weakened the authority of the PM, is the CPM leadership,' it said.

The section on internal security focused on the 'demographic invasion' by Bangladeshi infiltrators. It demanded a strong message to Dhaka not to harbour 'anti-India extremist outfits' and cooperate with Delhi in stopping infiltrations.

The council mandated BJP units 'from top to bottom' to counter the 'ideological assault' on the party through campaigns.

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