Bengaluru: Land Bill to be focus at BJP National Executive

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Bengaluru, April 3 (PTI): Under attack over the land bill, the BJP today said it will launch a mass contact programme to dispel “myths and propaganda” spread by the opposition and engage farmers in dialogue even as it insisted that it remains open to changes suggested by rival parties and farmers.

As the two-day BJP National Executive meet began today in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, BJP General Secretary P Muralidhar Rao said the party would brainstorm over the issue and will also come out with a nationwide outreach to publicise the good works of the government when it completes one year in power next month.

“There will be a discussion over the land bill.The opposition has spread various myths and propaganda about it. We will go to people against it.Industrialisation is necessary and we do not see any conflict between the industry and agriculture. We are making farmers a stake-holder and their interest would not be compromised,” he told reporters.

BJP leadership, he noted, had already made it clear that it was willing to talk to opposition parties and farmers and consider bringing changes in the bill.

“We want to talk with an open mind,” he said.

Rao said over 15 lakh members would undergo a training programme and they will play an important role in reaching out to public about the good work being done by the government.

The question that whether senior leader L K Advani will address the delegates or not continues to loom large as Rao said he would be present throughout the two-day meet being attended by over 111 national executive members besides a host of special invitees, including chief ministers of party-run states and its state presidents.

“He has come here and will be present throughout.He is always there to guide us,” he said, evading a direct reply.

Advani’s valedictory address has been a customary fixture in the national executive meetings barring the one in Goa in 2013 which he had skipped in apparent protest against the elevation of Modi as the party’s campaign committee head ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

The veteran leader has been eased out of the party’s key decision-making bodies by the Modi-Shah combine and made a member of largely ceremonial ‘margdarshak mandal’.

BJP keen to spread wings, meets in Bengaluru 

Bengaluru, April 3 (IANS) Riding high on becoming the world’s largest political party, the BJP’s national executive committee began its meeting here on Friday to take stock of its 10-month rule at the Centre and chalk out strategies to spread its wings across the country.

As it was the executive’s first meeting after the BJP rode to power with an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, bonhomie and an upbeat mood marked the inaugural session at a star hotel in the city centre amidst tight security.

Party patriarch L.K. Advani shared the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

As the hosts for the two-day meet, the party’s Karnataka unit leaders honoured Advani, Modi, Shah and Jaitley in the local style by crowning them with the famous Mysore petha (headgear), draping a shawl, garlanding and gifting a basket of fresh fruits.

After Modi inaugurated the meeting by lighting a lamp with the other three leaders on the dais, Shah addressed the party’s 330-strong executive members.

The meet was not open to the media. According to party sources, Shah began his hour-long address in chaste Hindi by praising Modi for providing a corruption-free NDA government at the Centre since May 2014.

Listing out the achievements of the party and the government over the past 10 months on various fronts, including politics, economy and foreign policy, Shah claimed that ever since the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came to power, the country got a stable government after many years and the economy has been revived.

“The economy is looking up and prices have been brought under control as evident from decline in inflation. A number of policy initiatives and administrative measures have been taken to revive growth and improve infrastructure,” Shah asserted.

The meeting will deliberate over various issues, including the controversial land acquisition bill which was stalled by the opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha, where the NDA lacks majority.

The executive will also draw an action plan to expand the party’s footprint in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and the north-east region where its presence is minimal.

“The meeting will also work out on strategies to capture power in Bihar where elections to its state assembly are due later this year,” a party source said.

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