| Rajnath and Vajpayee at the BJP national executive meeting. (PTI)
Lucknow, Dec. 23: The BJP today formally revived its three “core” Hindutva planks after more than eight years, striking a hawkish note in an Uttar Pradesh campaign it has already peppered with hate CDs.
The BJP’s priority is now to see a Ram temple at Ayodhya’s disputed site, a uniform civil code and the repeal of Kashmir’s special status under Article 370, the party president told its national council.
Hindus have become “second-rate” citizens as the United Progressive Alliance continues to practise “Muslim communalism”, Rajnath Singh alleged.
“They want Muslim reservation in education. Then they institute the Sachar Committee. And now comes the lowest point when the Prime Minister declares that the Muslims have the first right over the nation’s resources,” he thundered. “Are we to assume that the Muslims are the first-rate citizens in this country' And all (the rest) of us are second-rate'”
The BJP had put the three core issues on the backburner during the time Atal Bihari Vajpayee headed a coalition government, and had experimented with “Shining India” and “development” as its main planks. Rajnath’s comments, later ratified by a political resolution, have now closed that chapter.
The tone for his speech was set two days ago when party workers began distributing a CD that shows a Muslim slaughtering cows. It also displays newspaper clippings about the rape of a young girl, holding it up as an example of the tactics being used to force Hindu girls to convert to Islam.
Party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi confirmed the CD would be used widely in the run-up to the state polls, due in months.
The BJP national council, however, had no doubt that it was the Congress which was playing communal politics.
“By attempting to re-inject religion-based quotas and reservations into India, the Congress is reopening old wounds,” its resolution said. It accused the Congress and the Left of keeping Muslims “poor and ghettoised”.
If the resolution’s wording was subtle, Kalyan Singh’s speech left none in any doubt what the language of the poll campaign would be. “Who attacked the Akshardham temple' Who tried to desecrate the idols of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya' Let us be honest and admit they were all Muslims,” the former chief minister said.
“And who provides strategic support to all the Pakistani terrorists in India' Are they not Muslims too' I am warning the casteists and pseudo-secularists that their protection of Muslim terrorists would lead to the eruption of a Hindutva volcano,” he added to thunderous applause.
Rajnath said the party needed at least 10 years of power at the Centre to make its dreams a reality.
“Even President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and the Supreme Court say (Article 370 should be scrapped and a uniform civil code introduced). But this government will not do it because they have to appease minorities. And minorities for them mean only the Muslims,” Rajnath said.
“I am the bridegroom who has come to escort the bride of political power from UP to Delhi. Our march to Delhi should start from Lucknow.”