Freedom of expression and nationalism can co-exist: Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: With the debate on nationalism coming to the fore, the BJP on Sunday said freedom of expression does not give a right to seek the country's destruction, as the issue found the pride of place in the political resolution adopted at its national executive meeting here.

Freedom of expression and nationalism can co-exist: Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI

The issue of nationalism continued to take the centre stage in the deliberations after party chief Amit Shah set the tone in his inaugural address on Saturday saying BJP will not tolerate any attack on the nation, with the dominant mood in BJP being to put the Congress in a corner on the issue.

Briefing the media on the resolution, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said, "Freedom of expression and nationalism do necessarily co-exist" and the Constitution gives full freedom for expressing dissent and disagreement, but not the country's destruction."

"The ideology of nationalism guides our beliefs and philosophy," he asserted as the meeting saw the dominant mood among party leaders to put the Congress in the mat over the recent JNU-related developments.

Asked whether the Executive also discussed the row over the slogan 'Bharat mata ki jai', Jaitley said the party believes it is an issue over which there should be no debate.

"People have no problem with this slogan and we saw this in Kolkata on Saturday," he said as he sought to buttress his point by referring to the spectators raising the slogan after India's win in the cricket match with Pakistan.

The Finance Minister, a key party strategist, also targeted Congress over its political strength, saying the main opposition party has "lowered" its stature and was "content to be a tail ender of any alliance" in states like Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

Though issues of government formation in Uttarakhand, where Congress government is facing rebellion in its ranks, and Jammu and Kashmir did not come up for discussion at the meet, Jaitley said the resolution emphasised the party's commitment to the 'agenda of governance' in J&K.

Talks between the BJP and the PDP for reviving their coalition government in the J&K have fallen through but the saffron party has insisted that its doors are not shut on its former partner but it will have to stop putting more conditions.

"There was a time when the country was being governed without any sense of direction. There was uncertainty and lack of purpose. Now we have a government with a determined leadership, nationalist policies and progressive governance," Jaitley said.

The resolution also spoke about economically and socially inclusive policies of the government, its thrust on infrastructure development and good governance, he said.


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Updated Date: Mar 20, 2016 22:07:14 IST

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