New Delhi: The BJP parliamentary board on Thursday discussed steps to launch an "aggressive" campaign, on "war-footing" against the UPA government for the coming assembly and Lok Sabha polls while expressing concern over the government using CBI as "a political tool".
In the first meeting of the parliamentary board after party veteran LK Advani's resignation episode last month, the party sought to give a message of unity. Advani attended the meeting and sat next to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Advani had resigned from major party posts last month following appointment of Modi as campaign committee chief of the party for 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He had relented only after intervention from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The parliamentary board meeting was followed by a meeting of party office bearers. Briefing reporters after the meetings which lasted almost two hours, party general secretary Ananth Kumar said that the parliamentary board discussed the "misuse of CBI by the government".
The BJP is miffed at the way Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has handled the probe into the Ishrat Jahan case and is apprehensive about the probe reaching the doorstep of former Gujarat minister Amit Shah. Shah, recently appointed Uttar Pradesh in charge, is considered close to Modi.
The CBI charge sheet in the case Wednesday termed the gunfight as fake and said it was engineered by the Guajrat Police and the Intelligence Bureau. Ananth Kumar alleged the Congress was using CBI as a political tool. "We condemn the misuse of CBI. We demand that CBI should function independently," he said.
He said the parliamentary board discussed the preparations for the coming assembly polls in five states - Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram - at the end of the year and the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. "The workers are conducting a campaign to reach individual houses. We will hold meetings of 1,500-2,000 booth workers in each parliamentary constituency and also in assembly seats facing elections," he said.
He said the party was preparing on "war-footing" for the next Lok Sabha polls and another meeting of parliamentary board will be held July 8. Party sources said that the composition of campaign committee under Modi's leadership may be decided at July 8 meeting.
Ananth Kumar also said that the party was against the ordinance route on food security bill adopted by the government and said there appeared to be some "hidden agenda". He claimed the government had adopted the ordinance route as it was not sure of support of its own allies on the bill.
The parliamentary board also decided to hold prayer meetings July 16 in memory of those who had lost their lives in Uttarakhand floods. Expressing concern at speed of relief and rehabilitation efforts of Uttarakhand government, the party decided to give Rs.5 lakh to defence and security personnel who had lost their lives in a crash of a rescue helicopter.
Ananth Kumar said that the party was mobilising relief material from the entire country and its pace will be accelerated July 13 to 15. Sources said the meeting decided to launch an aggressive campaign against the United Progressive Alliance government on price rise, corruption, internal security and economic problems.
Sources said the party also decided to make greater use of social media for its campaign. In a related development, the sources said Advani is expected to meet RSS functionaries in Nagpur.