Makarand Gadgil / Mumbai January 06, 2006
Consolidate the support base and rejuvenate the party cadre is the message that Bharatiya Janata Party’s top leadership wants the rank and file to carry home from the silver jubiliee celebrations here.
Looking forward, the party leadership is also clear that its image needs to be cleansed of the sex and sleaze that it is being associtaed with currently.
A senior Sangh functionary said, "Ideological deviation and behavioral misdemeanors are the two diseases that have become embedded in the party’s body and soul during its years of power. This is also the reason why Rashtriya Swaymsevak Sangh (RSS) is not happy with the BJP."
Party leaders feel that there is a need to cleanse the party’s image and to do this the cadre must be given programmes and issues with which they can identify.
"No one is going to buy rhetoric on Ram Temple, Article 370 or the common civil code if the party continues as it is now. So we have to come up with other emotive issues, which will appeal to our support base," said another leader.
The future agenda may include the issue of illegal Bangladeshi migration and threat it is possessing it to the nation’s security, terrorism, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, ban on cow slaughter, reservations for the dalits and OBCs in minority institutes, and reservation for Muslims in jobs and educational institutes. All these issues find mention in party’s resolution on politics and foreign affairs, he pointed out.
Besides this, the party also plans to start agitations, dharnas, protest march on issues of local concern and every state and district unit will be given a free hand in deciding upon relevant issues.
Party leadership has asked all the delegates from various states who have come to attend the national council’s meeting to meet on the sidelines of the conclave and chalk out a program of dharnas, agitation and marches before leaving Mumbai.
To rectify "behavioral misdemeanors", the party plans to send a clear meesage by appointing Rajnath Singh who has a no nonsense message.
‘And when we say behavioral misdemeanors, it doesn’t only mean corruption or sexual conduct but also how our senior leaders behave with party workers,’ the party leader said. A tab would be kept on the behaviour of senior party leaders. "It doesn’t mean you spy on your own leaders. It would be something like human resource development department does in the corporate houses," he said.
There is also a need to have year round orientation programmes which we use to have in pre-power days as, it helps political person to co-relate today’s world and party’s basic ideology, he added.