Monday, January 28, 2013

BJP will play the role of a constructive Opposition and focus on public interest, says Rajnath Singh


Barely five days into his second term as BJP president , Rajnath Singh has his game plan clear. Speaking to Mail Today on Sunday, Singh indicated that the BJP would not let partisan politics upset matters of public interest.

He said that despite the party\'s anger at the comments made by Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on saffron terror, the BJP would continue to cooperate with the UPA on matters of public interest, playing the role of a \"constructive\" Opposition where crucial reform Bills are concerned.

\"On issues which are directly connected with the interests of the people, we will render all possible help to the government,\" he said. The Centre\'s plans to legislate on financial sector reform are critically dependent on the BJP\'s support. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has been maintaining that the government will attempt to pass the insurance and pension reform bills in the upcoming budget session of Parliament.

In view of this, Singh\'s statement indicates that the BJP will play ball with the government if it agrees to incorporate its suggestions in the two Bills.

Talking about the assembly elections due in nine states this year, the BJP president acknowledged the need to field credible faces to counter the Congress, especially in Delhi and Rajasthan.

\"In Delhi, for instance, there is a yearning for change. And we need a credible face to facilitate this change. We will decide on it soon,\" Singh said.

The Delhi BJP has been hamstrung with infighting and has not been able to internalise the changed profile of the electorate. And then there is Karnataka, the sole southIndian state with a BJP government, and where B.S. Yeddyurappa\'s revolt has left the party teetering on the edge. Elections in the state are bound to prove a major test for Singh\'s leadership mettle.

And he has already begun working on his strategy: \"I will be convening a meeting of state leaders soon to finalise the party\'s strategy for the coming polls,\" he said, adding that he will be touring all poll-bound states in the coming two months.

The BJP chief though identified Uttar Pradesh, where it has been pushed to the margin since 2002, as the state most critical to the party\'s plans to stage a comeback at the Centre.

Many in the party are hoping that a face-off between Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will deny major gains to the two regional players - SP and the BSP.

But Singh is confident: \"People in Uttar Pradesh will vote for the BJP in the next national election. We will be the chief beneficiary of the popular disenchantment with the Congress in the state.\"

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