New Delhi: The three-day national council meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) begins on Friday in Kozhikode, Kerala.
Significantly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a public meeting on 24 September, a day after the national executive ends, his first address after the recent terror attack at Uri in Kashmir, in which 17 Indian soldiers were killed and one succumbed to his injuries later.
Before that, on the concluding day of the meeting on Sunday, the PM is expected to speak directly with BJP members.
Apart from the recent terror attack in Uri and country’s internal security problems, the national council is expected to focus on empowerment of financially weaker sections, Dalits, tribals and women.
The BJP has chosen Kozhikode for two reasons. First, to kick off the centenary celebrations of Deendayal Upadhyaya’s birth, who became the president of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), the forerunner of BJP, in Kozhikode in 1967. Second, to renew focus on Kerala, where it won one seat in the assembly elections held earlier this year, and other southern states. This was the first time the party ever won a seat in Kerala polls.
The Prime Minister will unveil the centenary celebrations of Upadhyaya on Sunday.
The leader, who is credited with shaping the ideology of the BJS, will also celebrate 50 years of becoming the BJS chief.
During his presidential address in Kozhikode, Upadhyaya had spoken about the appointment of governors in the country. “Governor is a constitutional head. Appointees to this post, therefore, should be men of integrity capable of exercising their discretion in a judicious manner and in whose impartiality there is general confidence. I think that it would be better if instead of selecting rejected politicians or retired civil servants for this job, the Government turned its eyes to retired judges of the Supreme Court,” Upadhyaya had said.
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The BJP will work towards spreading Upadhyaya’s message of integral humanism and antyodaya—reaching to the last person in the queue—by organizing seminars all over the country.
In his presidential speech, Upadhyaya had also talked about Centre-state relations. “The sovereign authority of the nation vests in the Central government. In its dealings with state governments, let the Central government show an awareness of this responsibility, and act in a liberal and impartial manner. If, instead, they keep looking at things from the narrow party standpoint and try to explain away pettiness of approach by citing powers conferred on them by the Constitution, they would only be harming the country’s interests,” Upadhyaya had said.
The BJP contested the Kerala assembly election earlier this year and managed to win only one seat even though its vote share was 10.53%. This was the first time the BJP won a seat in the Kerala state polls. The BJP is now focussing its efforts in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka because the three states collectively have 87 Lok Sabha seats. The party only won a total of 18 seats in these three states in the 2014 general elections.