Poll prep: BJP bid to take left turn
By Cithara Paul|ENS - NEW DELHI
02nd September 2012 09:24 AM
As the general election draws near, it is not just Congress which is turning Socialist. BJP, the main opposition party, also seems to be taking a left turn to win the rural heartlands and has chanced upon land reforms as an “idea that sells.’’
Determined not to let the Congress hijack land reforms and sell it as the next big thing after ‘NREGA’ in the 2014 elections, the BJP top brass are busy meeting land reform activists. BJP chief Nidhin Gadkare has already held discussions with leaders of Ekta Parishad, the key driver of the land reforms bandwagon in the country and other NGOs. Its chief P V Rajagopal is currently organising a peoples’ march from Kanyakumari to Delhi demanding land reforms on the model of Kerala and West Bengal.
Gadkare has also arranged meetings of these NGO activists with the manifesto committee of the BJP which has already started doing homework for the next general elections. He is learnt to have assured the activists that land reforms would be one of the priority item in the BJP manifesto for the next election.
According to the activists, it was Gadkare himself who called them for the meeting. “We were quite surprised as the BJP has so far shown any interest in land reforms. He told us that BJP is keen on the issue and that it would find a top slot in the BJP manifesto,’’ said one of the activist who had met Gadkare.
A meeting with Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley has also been arranged. According to the activist, the BJP chief asked them all about the Congress party’s involvement in the issue. “He asked us whether we are ideologically with the Congress party and questioned the new-found enthusiasm of the UPA Government in land reforms,’’ said the activist.
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