The president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shri Rajnath Singh affirms that the BJP is proud of its Hindutva ideology. Hindutva is all-inclusive, tolerant, liberal and eternal. The partymen should take inspiration from its ideology, and should strictly adhere to the principles of the party. There is no place for indiscipline in the party. In an exclusive interview to Organiser Correspondent Deepak Kumar Rath, the BJP chief Shri Rajnath Singh informed that very soon the party would hammer out an action plan for the future course of action for the party so that it could reach the masses and make them aware of party’s ideology, principles and priorities in right perspective. Excerpts: How do you react to the Liberhan Commission report?
At the outset, I want to make it clear that the Liberhan Commission took 17 long years in submitting its report to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. This in spite of the fact that our people fully cooperated with the Commission. However, it is too early to comment on the report, as we are yet to get the complete details of the report. One thing I assure you that we shall give an appropriate comment after going through the report. The party is not at all apologetic about the incident of demolition of a disputed structure, as it had not committed any mistake. Whatever happened in Ayodhya was the outburst of the sentiments of the masses. It is not apt to hurt the sentiments of the masses. We are fully committed to build the Ram temple at Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya.
What were the reactions of the members at the BJP National Executive meeting held in Delhi after the party lost the general election?
See, there were mixed election results in different states. In some states, our party performed well, whereas in other states the results were not as per our expectations. The political scenario in different states was not the same, so the cause of the defeat can be attributed to various reasons prevalent in different constituencies. The members of the Executive informed us about this in the meeting. We have now sent a two-member team to all the states to find out the ground realities and reasons of the defeat and it will present its report within a short span. Then in the month of August we are going to conduct a three-day Chintan Baithak, where we would discuss the future action plan and strategy of the party. We are very serious to regain the common man’s trust in the party and we are earnestly working on it.
Is their any confusion among the cadres, leaders, strategists, etc, about the ideology of the party?
On the ideological front, the party has never deviated in the past, nor would it do so in the future. There is an unambiguous clarity in our ideology. There is absolutely no confusion about it. In our Hindutva ideology, everyone has a respected place—it is all-inclusive, liberal and tolerant. Had our ideology not been liberal and tolerant, it would have never been eternal (sanatan). A propaganda campaign by our opponents is being carried out to slander our ideology—that our ideology nurtures hatred among the people, which is again an unsubstantiated allegation. Not only the human beings, but also all the living creatures in the world are equally respected and properly taken care of in our ideology. Our ideology believes in the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
Some of the part’y strategists have started a debate on rethinking party’s ideology. What is your comment?
I can only say that we have to convince the common man to understand our ideology in a better way. A better articulation is needed to reach the masses.
Do you accept that one of the reasons of the defeat is the ideological binding on the party?
See, we should not measure our ideology on the basis of percentage of votes our party got. We derive inspiration from our ideology. Hindutva and cultural nationalism are the source of inspiration for all the party men.
Do you think the BJP did not get the support of the minorities and also could not win over the trust of the Hindus?
No, I don’t think so. The BJP got the votes of both minorities and Hindus. Otherwise, how could the party get 116 seats? How could the BJP become the principal opposition party? Here it is worth mentioning that in 1994 general election, when the Congress was routed at the hustings—it could manage to win only 114 seats—the party witnessed a very severe crisis, as it faced a vertical division. But then no section of media wrote anything about it. Then why is the media bent upon writing that the BJP is routed in 2009 election, despite the fact that the party got 116 seats and stands united?
What is your plan of action as indiscipline has surfaced in the party after losing the election? Some leaders even raised the issue of ideology from outside the party platform.
Those who are working for the BJP joined it, having thoroughly understood the ideology of the party. So, they should have a strong binding of the party’s ideology on them and thus they should strictly adhere to the ideology of the party. A disciplinary action would be taken against those who are found to be not following the ideology of the party.
The media has created an atmosphere that the party is divided. What is your message to the party cadres?
The media has its own importance. But our cadres should not be bamboozled by the media. Today, there is no political party in India that adheres to discipline as sternly as the BJP. The Congress was vertically divided many times due to indiscipline in the party. But the BJP has never faced such a situation till now. There may be indiscipline at the individual level, but there is no scope for indiscipline in the party.
Some BJP leaders say that the Varun Gandhi factor is also one of the reasons of the defeat. Comment.
Well, I do not concur with the fact that the Varun Gandhi or the Narendra Modi factor contributed to the defeat of the party. Defeat has many reasons at different places.
Will Varun Gandhi play a major role in the party in future?
Decisions like this are taken at the party platform. And everyone has his importance in the party and is useful for the party.
When will the next party chief be elected?
I have instructed to finish the organisational election by the month of December 2009, so that the next party president could be elected in due time.
There are internal squabblings in different BJP-ruled states and other states too. What is your plan to tackle the situation?
No, there is no problem anywhere. We have already resolved the problems wherever these were. And very soon, a reformation process will be initiated in those states, where it is required. We will not fix responsibility at the individual level for the party’s defeat in any state. All the BJP-ruled states are now running stable governments with a focus on development.