National Council meet of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) began in Kozhikode on Friday with general secretaries, office bearers and key state leaders holding discussions to give final shape to a comprehensive pro-poor agenda of the party and the future strategy to deal with Pakistan in the wake of Uri terror attack.
The leaders have insisted that their ideologue Deen Payal Upadhyay’s concept of ‘Antyodaya’ (uplift of the last man) will be key to their deliberations which will also touch on the Uri terror attack, that left 18 army men dead, the Kashmir unrest and other germane issues like state polls scheduled for next year and the GST.
The party is expected to articulate its ‘garib kalyan’ agenda to reach out to the mariginalised like Dalits and OBCs ahead of next year’s crucial state polls, including in Uttar Pradesh.
This is Upadhyay’s birth centenary year and his 100th birth anniversary falls on September 25.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also arrive here on Saturday and will address a public meeting, his first such address after the attack in Uri. He will address the party’s National Council on Sunday.
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.
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.
In its bid to woo the poor, dalits and marginalised sections in society, the BJP is of the view that effective implementation of the agenda can help it reach out to them, as it is facing flak over dalit issues from Opposition parties.
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.
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.
Modi on September 25 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.
The meet will also focus on increased cases of violence against BJP cadres and those of its ideological mentor RSS in Left-ruled Kerala. BJP leadership has blamed CPI (M) for these incidents.