Modi adds to BJP’s Hindutva dimension


New Delhi : Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the star speaker at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s national conclave here, Monday added to the party’s Hindutva plank for the next general elections by attacking the government’s “communal budgeting”.

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Modi, whom some in the party call Hindu Hridaya Samrat (ruler of Hindu hearts), said: “I urge you to raise the communal budgeting by this government in parliament. It will result in tremendous upheaval among the Dalits and tribals.”

Modi, with the Gujarat victory behind him, was applauded loudly by almost all and sundry at the BJP national council meeting at the Ramlila Ground here.

He said: “What the British could not do, what the churches could not do, this government is doing. By setting aside 15 percent of budget for the minorities, it is encouraging conversion. Dalits who have turned Christians will get what has been given to them by Babasaheb Ambedkar. In addition, they will also get the 15 percent set aside for the minority community.”

Expressing his resentment, he said: “Framers of our constitution had opposed this. But now they (the central government) are going against the constitution.”

Modi, who waited for his turn till all other chief ministers had spoken, almost seemed to have assumed the leadership of all the NDA-ruled states.

He said: “I urge the UPA government and its chief ministers to emulate BJP and NDA-led states. I challenge Chidambaram (union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram). You take out the growth rate of the NDA governments and after that calculate the country’s growth rate, it will be less than during Atal-ji’s (former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s) government.”

Describing the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani “as pavitra (sacred) as kamal (lotus – the BJP election symbol)”, Modi said: “I must thank Atal-ji for giving us such a great leader. This is the biggest gift he has made to the BJP.”

A day earlier, BJP president Rajnath Singh had set the election campaign agenda at the national executive by highlighting three issues, “security, good governance and farmers’ plight”, which the BJP plans to raise in the run-up to the general elections.