Surajkund (Haryana): The country was on the “cusp of change” and BJP workers must be ready for elections, party president Nitin Gadkari said Wednesday as its national executive met here to firm up strategy to counter the “sinking” UPA government.
Addressing the national executive meeting, the party’s highest decision-making body, being held in this town bordering the national capital, Gadkari called upon workers to focus on the people’s expectations from the party.
Quoting from Gadkari’s speech, party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters: “The president said in his speech that the country is on the verge of change. The Congress government is falling due to its own actions, its allies are leaving it, or trying to leave. For getting new allies, they have an organisation, CBI.”
“Gadkari said the Congress-led UPA was a sinking ship as people are disenchanted with it over corruption and price rise… He called upon party workers to be ready for a poll,” Prasad added.
“Gadkari also asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi not to blame the BJP for its failures… He said the common man has lost faith in the UPA.”
The national executive meeting, attended by over 200 delegates, will be followed by the national council meeting on Thursday and Friday.
Besides Gadkari, senior party leaders, including L.K. Advani, Arun Jaitley, M. Venkaiah Naidu, Murli Manohar Joshi and chief ministers Arjun Munda from Jharkhand and P.K. Dhumal from Himachal Pradesh, attended.
“Gadkari also asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi not to blame the BJP for its failures… He said the common man has lost faith in the UPA,” said Prasad.
“Gadkari appealed to the party workers to be ready for polls anytime… We are ready for a poll,” said Prasad.
“We doubt if this government (UPA) will complete its full term,” he added.
The general elections are due in 2014.
“The BJP is always ready for elections, if polls are there in a month, we are ready,” Prasad said, adding that the party was not trying to destabilise the government.
“The president only discussed the present situation in the country and, at present, the situation of the government is uncertain. Anyone observing Indian politics will say that. If the government falls itself, we will not go to save it,” he said.
The BJP also claimed it was not against reforms but hinted it could scrap the UPA’s decision to allow 51 percent foreign equity in multi-brand retail.
“We are against FDI in multi-brand retail… it is against India’s interest,” Prasad told IANS.
In a veiled threat, the BJP leader further said, “If we come to power, the consequences (on FDI) will follow.”
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prasad said though he claims credit for economic reforms initiated by him as finance minister in 1991, the BJP-ruled states were doing good work.
Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj is not attending as she is unwell, said a party source.