Stock-taking, more

The BJP’s three-day national council meet is being held from Friday in Kozhikode, Kerala, at a time when the country and the party-led Union Government has to take some hard decisions with regard to national integrity, security and pride, in the backdrop of the Kashmir situation and terror attacks sponsored from across the border. For the next three days, Kozhikode will remain the focus of the nation when around 2,000 delegates including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Union Ministers, MPs, Chief Ministers, MLAs and national and State party leaders converge on the city to deliberate on policies and programmes regarding national issues, governmental initiatives and the BJP’s own political objectives. The selection of the venue and time of the meet is significant as it marks the golden jubilee of the national conclave of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, forerunner of the BJP, held in the same city, at which ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya was elected its president. It is also Upadhyaya’s birth centenary year and the Prime Minister will inaugurate an year-long celebration at the venue on Sunday. In this sense, the national council meet in Kozhikode will be the BJP’s tribute to Upadhyaya. That the conference is being held in Kerala is also crucially important for the political future of the State where the BJP has successfully positioned itself as the ‘third alternative’ of late and is working hard to achieve the goal of capturing power.
The conference will also witness the launch of a decisive political offensive on the part of the BJP against its rival, the CPI(M), which heads the ruling LDF in the State. The BJP has already been running a campaign against the Marxists, accusing them of continuing with their attacks against BJP-RSS activists in the State – especially in the northern Kannur district where scores of BJP-RSS men have lost lives in CPI(M) attacks since late 1960s – and party property. Even the BJP’s State office in Thiruvananthapuram came under a bomb strike recently. The political resolution to be adopted by the conference will most likely have a section on this, demanding immediate steps to put an end to Marxist violence and a fair probe by an independent agency into the assaults on BJP-RSS workers. A party delegation has already completed a fact-finding mission. The BJP is also likely to devise at the meet, strategies for winning some seats from the State in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, which along with additional gains in other southern states may become crucial in the event of any loss in the Hindi heartland.
Stock-taking will be one of the chief tasks of the meetings to be held as part of the conference. Though not many in the BJP are dissatisfied with the functioning of the party-led NDA Government at the Centre, there could be deliberations on adopting measures to enhance popularity in the context of the upcoming Assembly elections. The Dalit issue, cropping up in certain parts of the country, also could figure in the discussions. However, terror attacks and Kashmir are sure to stay in the meet’s focus as a large section is demanding strong and prompt reply to the strikes at Uri and Pathankot. The meet will be a good occasion for the party and the Government to understand the mood of the people.

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