Party, (BJP), senior leader and Opposition Leader in Lok Sabha
Mrs. Sushma Swaraj
2009 unfolds generational change in BJP:
The year 2009 turned out to be a crucial year for the BJP which has
effected generational change in the party and the ....
Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), senior leader and Opposition
Leader in Lok Sabha Mrs. Sushma Swaraj has trashed the
recommendations of the report of Prime Minister's 5th Working Group
on State-Centre relation, headed by Justice (Retd.) Sagheer Ahmad,
and termed it as a cruel joke with the integrity and national
identity of India. She claimed that Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had
sacrificed his life to preserve Jammu and Kashmir as an integral
part of India.
Mrs. Sushma, who arrived here in
Bhopal for the first time after taking over the reins of Leader of
the Opposition in Lok Sabha from L K Advani, while talking to
reporters stressed that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of
India and any attempt to fiddle with it will not be tolerated at any
cost. Dr Mukherjee as the then Jana Sangh parliamentary party leader
had made Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India and any bid
to bifurcate it will not be allowed, she emphasized.
It may be mentioned here that the
Justice (Retd.) Sagheer Ahmad's report, calling for restoration of
autonomy or an almost complete sovereignty for Jammu and Kashmir
within the Indian Union, has evoked strong emotions among all
parties in the state and rest of the country, excepting the National
Conference which has welcomed the recommendations.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley, the Leader of
the Opposition (Rajya Sabha) in a letter to the Prime Minister said
this report at best is the personal opinion of Justice (Retd)
Sagheer Ahmad or of those who helped him to draft it. It is
certainly not a consensus document of the Working Group. The report
is a farce in so far it claims to be the recommendations of a
Working Group. It deserves to be fully ignored, he said in the
Meanwhile, Mrs. Swaraj termed the
Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission Report a divisive document which
would divide the unity of the country.
She said that the BJP would play the
role of a responsible opposition in the Lok Sabha. "We will not
oppose merely for the sake of opposing", she said. "BJP will
strongly oppose those policies which were against the national
interest and support those which were helpful for the people", she
Mrs. Swaraj defended the BJP's
decision to support the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, (JMM), in its bid to
form a government in that state. ''This was the unanimous decision
of the BJP's Parliamentary Board,'' she claimed
Replying to a query JMM President
Shibu Soren -- who was acquitted in a murder case -- she said since
the BJP decided to support the JMM in government formation, it
impliedly meant that Soren was innocent. There was ''no option
left'' with the party other than forming an alliance.
Stating that the JMM episode was a
compulsion brought on by the country's coalition politics, she added
that the current political scenario had been converted into
''bipolar coalition politics'' thus compelling the BJP not to back
out from the Jharkhand arrangement.
She did not concur with a questioner
that the BJP compromised its ideology while entering into an
arrangement with the JMM. ''The party's Jharkhand unit first mooted
the idea of such an alliance which was then given a stamp of
approval by the Board,'' she said.
Mrs. Swaraj said BJP's new chief Nitin
Gadkari was the choice of the organization and asserted that RSS did
not interfere with its day-to-day affairs.
"Gadkari was the choice of BJP and
Sangh merely put its stamp of approval on the decision," she told
She said that adverse news reports
that had been associated with the BJP were no longer there and
expressed confidence that party's new leadership was working well
towards its goals..
She strongly denied that Sangh
influences BJP in its day-to-day working saying that her party
worked on its own. "We, however, get guidance and valuable advice
from the Sangh from time to time," she said.
To a query, Mrs. Swaraj said the
challenge before the BJP now was to project itself as a better
option against the Congress in the next general elections.
To a question on a separate
Bundelkhand, she said, ''Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh
Chouhan formed the Bundelkhand Development Authority well before the
separation issue was raised.''
Mrs. Swaraj welcomed N D Tiwari's
decision to resign as governor of Andhra Pradesh after his name
figured in a sex scandal. "I do not know if Tiwari resigned on his
own or his resignation was sought by the Congress," she said.
She said she would not like to say
anything more on the subject and would comment only after the
authenticity of the CD is proved.