Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

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Pratinidhi Sabha Session at Varanasi Jana Sangh Finalises Election Plans

-K.R. Malkani

Ours is not a Party of No-Changers, Affirms Upadhyaya

Varanasi, 15 November. The 4 day session of Bhartiya Jana Sangh’s Pratinidhi Sabha (General Council) was held at Varanasi. Over 500 delegates hailing from all provinces of the country except Orissa attended the Session, where complete discussions were carried on the Election Manifesto drafted by the party’s working Committee.

The deliberations of the Partinidhi Sabha commenced on Monday morning with the chancing of the Vande Mataram.

A brief but lucid exposition by General Secretary Pandit Upadhyaya of the approach that had gone into the framing of the BJS manifesto, and an interesting debate on an amendment seeking to include in the manifesto a resolve to manufacture nuclear weapons, were the two main high lights of the morning session.

BJS Election Manifesto

Moving the draft manifesto as approved by the working committee for consideration by the Pratinidhi Sabha, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya said that the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, was committed to the building up of some specific values and ideals in the political life of the country, and so while framing its election manifesto it was not concerned with what would be palatable or alluring to the people but what is wholesome for national life. Only after deciding that, thought was given as to how it would also be made acceptable to the people as well.

Sri Upadhyaya said–‘No doubt, ours is an opposition party and so has to guard jealously the interests of the people against any actions of Government which we feel are opposed to these interests. But we must also be conscious that we are not ‘no-changers’ who would oppose any and every change the Government seeks to introduce. We cannot be apologists for the status-quo. In fact we are actually aware of the fact that very many things that have been with us since the time of the Britisher need to be urgently overhauled. There are several issues in which the Congress Government has been hopelessly static and with which the Jana Sangh would like to deal with greater dynamism.”

Specifically referring to the Swatantra Party manifesto to explain his point, Sri Upadhyaya said, that party had held out a promise to repeal all amendments made in the Constitution by the Congress Government.’ ‘While the Jana Sangh has deprecated light-hearted changes in the constitution’, Sri Upadhyaya said, ‘It is certainly opposed to this Swatantra approach, which in effect refuses to take cognisance of demands of a changing situation and insists on taking the country to where it stood in 1951.’

Sri Upadhyaya referred to criticism in some quarters that the manifesto made no mention of Akhanda Bharat and said that these critics appeared to forget the nature of document an election manifesto is to be. Essentially, he said, the election manifesto of a party deals only with the programme of five years the party promises to execute if it came into power. As such no dilation of the party’s cardinal principles is expected in an election declaration. So also, Sri Upadhyaya said, a manifesto could deal only with abroad outline of the party’s stand and could not be expected to go into minute details about its implementation.

The BJS leader affirmed that every single item in the manifesto was practicable but it was essential to view the document as an integrated whole and not assess its promises piecemeal without reference to the BJS’ broad outlook.

Compiled by Amarjeet Singh, Research Associate & Programme Coordinator, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, 9, Ashok Road, New Delhi - 110001
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