Free Press Journal

Ram Mandir, Rafale not discussed in BJP’s national executive meeting


(PIB Photo via PTI) (PTI9_8_2018_000043B)

New Delhi: For a party that is boastful of ruling at the Centre for another 55 years, post 2019, the BJP seems to be shy of discussing contentious issues. Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar abruptly ended a press conference, held to brief the media on the national executive, when asked about the Ram Mandir, saying it was not in the resolution, nor discussed.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had similarly ended the briefing on Saturday, when asked about the spiralling petrol and diesel prices. Incidentally, this question — of the BJP putting the Ram Mandir on the backburner — was posed to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as well in a separate press briefing on Sunday, after the conclusion of the party deliberations.  He, however, wriggled out by giving a cryptic reply that they should look at the Supreme Court, which was not far away from the venue of the meeting. He was referring to the ownership dispute pending before the Apex Court, hinting at the BJP’s commitment to go by what is decided in the court.

There was no mention of Rafale deal either. Javadekar said the fighter jet deal was not mentioned in the resolution. “There was no need for it. People who are making the corruption allegation need to understand that there was no middleman in the deal. There was no Quattrocchi in it,” Javadekar said, referring to the middleman of the infamous Bofors deal. On the angst among the upper caste leaders in the party over the government overturning the  safeguards inserted by the Supreme Court in the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Act, Javadekar merely said that the BJP policy is to promote all sections of society.

In reply to a question, Javadekar said Assam’s National Register of Citizens was covered in the resolution and also came up for discussion. He said Shah had already clarified in his presidential address that the party is not against Indian citizens but against infiltrators who ought to be thrown out.