BJP national council meet in Kozhikode: Modi likely to discuss Uri attack, 'garib kalyan' agenda

Kozhikode: The Uri terror attack, which left 18 Army men dead and triggered an outcry for punitive action against Pakistan, will be deliberated upon in the three-day BJP National Council meeting over the weekend in which top party brass is also expected to articulate its 'garib kalyan' agenda to reach out to the mariginalised like Dalits and OBCs.

A report in The Economic Times detailed that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif bringing up the Kashmir issue in the United Nations has put considerable pressure on the ruling BJP government to address the growing sentiments against Pakistan. Although the BJP's original plan was to use the National Council meet at Kozhikode to focus on the commemoration of Jan Sangh founder Deen Dayal Upadhyay's birth centenary, the focus will now shift to Pakistan's presence in the Kashmir Valley, according to a delegate quoted by The Economic Times report.

According to a report in NDTV, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Kozhikode on Saturday and address a public meet, reportedly his first after the Uri attack. The Indian Express, meanwhile, said that Modi will be attending the council meetings on 24 and 25 September, and is expected to inaugurate the birth centenary celebrations of Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

BJP President Amit Shah arrived on Thursday for the meet, which starts on Friday and coincides with the birth centenary of its ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

Party leaders and cadres expect him to speak on Uri attack as the saffron outfit has been under fire over repeated incidents of Pakistani terrorists targeting defence facilities, more so as Modi had often flayed the UPA government over its alleged soft attitude to Pakistan in the face of terror incidents.

BJP National Secretary and Kerala in-charge H Raja told reporters that the party leaders will deliberate the Uri incident. The Uri attack has forced the party to recalibrate its agenda for the Council, likely to be attended by over 1,700 delegates, including all its chief ministers, all its union ministers and top brass from all states.

The party is likely to use the occasion to reprise the poor-centric ideology of Upadhyay, who was elected its president in 1967 at the same venue and whose 100th birth anniversary falls on 25 September. The party had earlier formed a committee under the leadership of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to prepare a garib kalyan (welfare of poor) agenda under which its state governments will be asked to achieve certain key objectives in various welfare schemes.

BJP believes that effective implementation of the agenda can help it reach out more to the marginalised sections, especially Dalits and OBCs, as it has been facing flak over Dalit issues from Opposition parties and some Dalit groups.

Raja also cited Upadhyay's thrust on 'antyodaya' (uplift of the last man) and the Centre's "pro-poor" schemes as he spoke about the Council's planned emphasis on welfare of poor. Modi on 25 September will inaugurate Upadhyay's birth centenary celebrations which will go on for over a year.

The party leadership is also expected to deliberate over assembly polls in several states scheduled for early next year, including in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. BJP has been out of power in Uttar Pradesh for over 14 years and Shah has claimed that it will make a come back with two-third majority by trouncing formidable regional rivals like Samajwadi Party and BSP.

Cases of violence against BJP and RSS functionaries in the Left-ruled Kerala are also expected to be referred to by the leadership which has blamed CPI(M) for these incidents.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Sep 23, 2016 11:41 AM

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