BJP wary of AAP-Cong tag team, meet discusses poll strategy

BJP wary of AAP-Cong tag team, meet discusses poll strategy

BJP is now clearly wary of the Aam Admi Party with the party's national executive today discussing ways to counter the challenge posed by it along with Congress in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Though BJP President Rajnath Singh refrained from naming AAP, he alluded to how Congress may use the growing clout of Arvind Kejriwal's organisation to spoil their march to victory.

The BJP Chief said since Congress is aware it is going to lose the polls, it is now trying every trick in the book to ensure that a "majboor (weak)" government is formed at the Centre.

Though Singh did not name Aam Admi Party, party sources said he was making a veiled reference to it. Congress is supporting the AAP government in Delhi and BJP has often alleged that the latter is the B-team of the former.

When BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain was asked by reporters if his party is also making strategies to counter AAP as is being done by Congress, he sought to club the ruling party and AAP as being on the same side.

"Till now the Congress hand was with aam admi (common man). Now it is with the Aam Admi Party. AAP will be protector of the Congress. In Delhi they have already joined hands," Hussain said.

Asked if BJP is going to fight the Lok Sabha polls against both Congress and AAP, Hussain said when his party attacks the ruling party, it also includes its allies.

"When we talk about the Congress we are equally vigilant about all its allies be it NCP, SP, BSP, or AAP in Delhi, Lalu Prasad (RJD) in Bihar or DMK in Tamil Nadu. We have to fight not just the Congress or its sheilds but also deal with those whose shoulders Congress is using to target others," Hussain said.

BJP is also reportedly concerned about Congress encouraging non-UPA, non-NDA parties to keep the saffron party from forming government in case of a hung Parliament.

The opposition party attacked the Congress on the issue of graft, saying it is stuck in a "swamp of corruption".

Incidentally, former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who had left BJP after he was forced to step down from his post in the wake of corruption charges against him but returned to the party fold recently, also attended the conclave today.

In his speech at the BJP national executive, Rajnath Singh also referred to the issue of secularism, a matter on which Congress has targeted it often, and said many forces want India to be a weak state. However, he did not elaborate on it.

"The party president gave the assurance that BJP-led NDA will form a government which will not only be strong on economics and ethics but will also never compromise on the issue of nationalism," party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

Singh described UPA government as an NPA (non-performing asset) and said it is time to "write it off".

"He said India attained Swaraj (independence) in 1947 but now it is time for Purna Swaraj (full independence) by making the country free of corruption and unemployment," Javadekar said.

Attacking the ruling party, the BJP president said Congress was formed in 1885 by a British citizen A O Hume as a safety valve.

The party, he said, did not accept Bal Gangadhar Tilak's call for Swaraj (self-rule) in 1905 and it was only in 1930 that a resolution for independence was passed by the Congress.

Hussain took a dig at Rahul Gandhi for claiming Congress has been a part of India's struggle through the ages, saying he has forgotten history and is giving credit to Congress (I).

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