By Arabinda Ghose
FOR someone who has been in close touch with the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and later the Bharatiya Janata Party right since October 21, 1951, no single statement at the BJP´s national executive meeting in Mumbai could have gladdened one´s heart more than the pronouncement by party president, M. Venkaiah Naidu that ?each one of us must realise that we are what we are because of the party.?
In the section ´Back to Basics´, in his ten-page long presidential speech at the Mumbai conclave from June 22 to 24, Shri Naidu stressed that the ´virus of individualism´ has to be got rid of, adding later: ?It is the party consciousness, party personality, and party identity with which we should align our individual consciousness, individual personality and the individual identity.?
He said one should be reminded in this connection of how the ´virus of individualism´ afflicted a one-time leader of the erstwhile Jana Sangh, who more or less used to feel that ?I am the Jana Sangh?. No wonder, in a party of workers and not leaders, he could not continue for long and in later years, faded completely from public memory. There was another case of a Jana Sangh worker who had risen from extremely humble beginnings to become a member of the Lok Sabha twice in a row. However, when his ego got the better of him, he was expelled from the party. Despite his repeated efforts to re-enter the party, he was not re-admitted.
For Shri Venkaiah Naidu, who has repeatedly stated that he had never expected to have become the party president, having been a humble worker of the party from Nellore district, it was natural for him to give a call to the party to pay attention to ?organisation-building with the slogan, ´back to basics´.?
Highway does not exist at all. Yet more than 3,000 kilometres of world class roads have been built under this scheme and there has been tremendous economic fallout from this project.
BJP leaders led by L.K. Advani at Rashtrapati Bhavan
The BJP president thus touched the core issue with regard to party organisation and brought out the deficiencies in organisational work. One is certain that if these weaknesses had not crept in, the BJP would not have lost power so ignominiously, he pointed out.
Actually, one feels that at least on the economic front, the BJP-NDA was on very strong grounds, even in rural areas. Who could have thought of Kisan credit cards, but for the BJP-NDA? People are being made to forget that more than three crores of Kisan credit cards were issued and about Rs 80,000 crores were given on credit to farmers on the basis of these credit cards.
The new government, in true Stalinist style (?They will stand up when we ask them to do so and sit down, when we order them to??Buddhadev Bhatta-charya, CPM leader and West Bengal Chief Minister), is seeking to create an impression that the Golden Quadrilateral Highway does not exist at all. Yet more than 3,000 kilometres of world-class roads have been built under this scheme and there has been tremendous economic fallout from this project.
How many people remember that under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, more than 30,000 kilometres of pucca, durable roads have been built in villages all over the country?
The new government is speaking in terms of various scheme for farmers. The NDA´s interim budget presented by Shri Jaswant Singh had promised and introduced a Farm Income Insurance Scheme in 20 districts on a pilot basis.
If one goes through the budget speech of February 3, 2004 of Shri Jaswant Singh, one would find that most of the promises the present Prime Minister made at the meeting of the Rural Development Ministers conclave in New Delhi, on June 29, 2004 had already or at least partially been mentioned as the NDA programme for 2004-2005.
If our workers and leaders go through that speech and tell people about the various schemes launched or promised to be launched by the NDA government, it would do good to the party, when they have to speak about the Chidambaram budget to be presented on July 8.
The leaders and workers can quote, for example, from the political resolution, these two paragraphs: ?The NDA govern-ment left behind a legacy of one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. This has been grudgingly acknowledged even by some ministers in the new government. The growth mome-ntum is today threatened by a retrograde thinking process…?
?The BJP will keep a close watch on the implementation of the CMP (Common Minimum Programme), especially the promises made to the unemp-loyed youth and the kisans…?.