Op­po­si­tion par­ties com­ing to­gether with an eye on cor­rup­tion, says Modi

Prom­ises to cre­ate ad­di­tional 10% seats in ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions to meet new quota needs

Sunday Express - - NEWS - MANISHANAND

PRIME Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Satur­day tore into the Op­po­si­tion, say­ing his gov­ern­ment’s re­lent­less crack­down on cor­rup­tion has forced squab­bling ri­vals to swal­low their pride and join hands to fight the BJP.

Mock­ing the ‘grand al­liance’ the Op­po­si­tion par­ties are try­ing to form to keep the saf­fron party out of power, Modi said it is a “failed ex­per­i­ment in In­dian pol­i­tics”.

Try­ing to project an in­cor­rupt­ible im­age, he claimed not a sin­gle al­le­ga­tion of cor­rup­tion could be made against the NDA gov­ern­ment un­like ear­lier Congress-led gov­ern­ments at the Cen­tre.

Mean­while, in a bid to tap the as­pi­ra­tions of mil­len­nial vot­ers, Modi an­nounced that ad­di­tional 10 per cent seats would be cre­ated in ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions to meet the new quota re­quire­ments. Modi said the 10 per cent reser­va­tion in gov­ern­ment jobs and ed­u­ca­tion for the poor in the gen­eral cat­e­gory would boost the “self-con­fi­dence of new In­dia”. This, he added, is to en­sure that the in­creased quota does not eat into the share of those from the un­re­served cat­e­gory.

Modi ac­cused the op­po­si­tion par­ties of try­ing to fo­ment dis­con­tent and cre­ate con­fu­sion in the minds of peo­ple by spread­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion that the new quota will harm the SCs, STs and OBCs. He as­serted that the ex­ist­ing quota pol­icy for the so­cially back­ward will re­main in­tact.

Talk­ing to par­ty­men at the sec­ond day of the BJP Na­tional Con­ven­tion here, Modi said his gover nment’s mantra is equal op­por­tu­nity for all. List­ing out 124th Con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment bill, the PM ar­gued that the mea­sure would ad­dress as­pi­ra­tions of the youth of gen­eral cat­e­gory who were not get­ting op­por­tu­ni­ties due to poverty.

The bill seek­ing to pro­vide reser­va­tion for the eco­nom­i­cally-back­ward sec­tion was passed by Par­lia­ment on Jan­uary 9. On Satur­day, Pres­i­dent Ram Nath Kovind gave his nod to the con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sion to make it pos­si­ble.

Ad­dress­ing his de­trac­tors who ac­cuse him of be­lit­tling Con­sti­tu­tional in­sti­tu­tions, Modi cited the de­ci­sions of the Andhra, West Ben­gal, and Ch­hat­tis­garh gov­ern­ments to with­draw con­sent to the CBI for probe, say­ing he hadn’t done so de­spite fac­ing ha­rass­ment by the in­ves­ti­gat­ing agen­cies at the be­hest of the Congress-led UPA when he was the Gu­jarat chief min­is­ter.

“I was grilled for nine hours in a day. One UPA min­is­ter, dur­ing his Gu­jarat visit, claimed that I would be spend­ing the rest of my life in jail. Yet, we didn’t re­strict the CBI,” said Modi.

The party which spear­headed the urea scam, Com­mon­wealth Games scam, min­ing scam... is try­ing to forge a grand al­liance to stop one man from com­ing to power again

Naren­dra Modi, Prime Min­is­ter

THE BJP has vowed to seize the elec­toral nar­ra­tive and set the agenda for the Lok Sabha elec­tions, with the na­tional con­ven­tion of the saf­fron out­fit adopt­ing a po­lit­i­cal res­o­lu­tion sin­gling out lead­er­ship to be the top plank for the polls. The res­o­lu­tion moved by Union Min­is­ter Nit in G ad kari stressed on elec­toral choice for peo­ple be­tween “Maz­boot or Ma­j­boor (strong or weak)” gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre.

Mov­ing the po­lit­i­cal res­o­lu­tion in the con­clud­ing ses­sion of the na­tional con­ven­tion of the BJP at the Ramlila Ground, Gad­kari said that Sa­ma­jwadi Party (SP) and Bahu­jan Sa­ma­jwadi Party (BSP) are com­ing to­gether in Ut­tar Pradesh due to fears of the BJP’s might. “Even af­ter their al­liance, we will trounce them on the ground,” Gad­kari as­serted, while ar­gu­ing that the BJP should be cred­ited for old en­e­mies join­ing hands.

Tak­ing part in the dis­cus­sion on the po­lit­i­cal res­o­lu­tion, Union Fi­nance Min­is­ter spelt out six planks for the BJP work­ers to hit the ground in the elec­tions. “It’s to the ad­van­tage of the BJP if the Lok Sabha elec­tion is held on the plank of lead­er­ship. In Naren­dra Modi, the BJP has a de­ci­sive leader against un­knowns in the Op­po­si­tion camp,” Jait­ley said, adding that the work­ers should take the sta­tis­tics to en­gage peo­ple in con­ver­sa­tions on the per­for mance of the NDA gov­ern­ment.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Jait­ley said, the elec­tion time gives an op­por­tu­nity to BJP work­ers to raise core is­sues of the party, in­clud­ing mea­sures against the prac­tice of triple ta­laq and Ram tem­ple, be­sides the party’s ide­ol­ogy. “You (BJP work­ers) should set the elec­toral nar­ra­tive and elec­tion agenda and bat­tle on the ground with sta­tis­tics against the grand al­liance, while re­mind­ing the deeds of gov­ern­ments headed by Choud­hary Cha­ran Singh, VP Singh, HD Deve Gowda, and IK Gu­jaral,” Jait­ley said.

The min­is­ter said the polls would be a test of the party’s or­gan­i­sa­tional strength.

Union Min­is­ter Ravi Shankar Prasad, stressed on “Maz­boot ver­sus Ma­j­boor” gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre, while not­ing that the peo­ple have re­jected weak choices.

SHEKHAR YA­DAV

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi at the BJP Na­tional Con­ven­tion at Ramlila Ground in New Delhi on Satur­day |

SEKHAR YA­DAV

(From left) Union Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley with BJP pres­i­dent Amit Shah and PM Naren­dra Modi at the party’s na­tional con­ven­tion in Delhi on Satur­day |

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