Amit Shah to state units: Hail Modi and me
Amit Shah has directed BJP-led state governments and local bodies to pass resolutions felicitating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and himself for their “determination, firmness and courage” in scrapping the Article 370 provision that accorded a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Shah, BJP president and Union home minister, has also directed all the party units to hold news conferences and “enthusiastic programmes” to advertise how “Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Home Minister Shri Amit Shah and the Central Government have fulfilled the dream of Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee”.
“Mukherjee” is a misspelling of “Mookerjee”, which is how the late founder of the Jana Sangh — the BJP’s earlier avatar — spelt his name.
The directives come in a letter sent by the BJP central office to state unit headquarters. This is being seen as part of an effort to reap electoral dividends and further corner the Opposition on the nationalist plank.
Party managers feel the decisions on Kashmir will help the BJP sweep the year-end elections in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana.
“The BJP governed states to pass a resolution felicitating Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Home Minister Shri Amit Shah and the Central Government for repealing Article 370. A copy of the resolution to be sent to Prime Minister’s Office and to the BJP Central Office,” the letter says.
It underlines that this is to be done “as per the direction” of Shah.
While the letter does not specifically say the resolution must be passed in the Assembly, party sources said this is what would be done.
“The resolutions will be passed by the legislative assemblies,” a BJP politician said.
All the BJP-governed local bodies should pass similar resolutions, the letter says.
A buoyant BJP feels the “courageous” decisions on Kashmir will boost the party’s popularity across caste lines, help it expand to new areas and cause the Opposition to disintegrate.
Senior Assam leader Bhubaneswar Kalita, who was the Congress’s chief whip in the Rajya Sabha, resigned from the House on Monday after airing his opposition to the party’s stand on the amendment of Article 370. He quit the party on Tuesday and joined the BJP on Friday.
Several other Opposition MPs have resigned from the Rajya Sabha and joined the BJP since Modi swept back to power in May.
“More Congress leaders will join us over Article 370. The Congress will disintegrate and Amitbhai’s call for a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ will be fulfilled soon,” a BJP politician crowed.
The letter to the state units says: “The firm determination, firmness and courage of our Hon’ble Prime Minister and Home Minister has led to this historic otherwise impossible looking task. The entire nation is in a jubilant mood after this historic decision.”
It asks the party to tell the people how the “revered leader” Syama Prasad had “sacrificed his life years back with a dream to end Article 370”, and how his dream had now become reality.
Revoking Article 370 had been one of the BJP’s three core demands since its Jana Sangh days.
Party leaders feel that the ease with which the Modi government has secured this objective, along with Parliament’s endorsement, suggests it could also achieve the two others: a uniform civil code and a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
While the Supreme Court is hearing the Ayodhya land dispute, Sangh parivar outfits are gearing to organise a string of events to mobilise the public sentiment in favour of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.