NEW DELHI: The BJP says it has won the current debate on the issue of nationalism, claiming that people who raised anti-India slogans were now saying Jai Hind, if not Bharat Mata ki Jai.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told his partymen, “We should consider this an ideological battle and I feel we have won its first round. Now, people who were raising slogans against the country have started saying they will chant Jai Hind, if not Bharat Mata ki Jai. This was your ideological victory that you forced them to say this.” He was addressing the executive committee meeting of the Delhi BJP. He took on the Congress for attacking the icons of the BJP.
“Some people are questioning the nationalism of Savarkar, who inspired lakhs and crores of countrymen. These very people are attending programmes of those who talk of breaking up India,” he said in a clear referrence to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi who visited JNU after the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. Taking a dig at the Congress, he added, “The Congress aim these days is to be the tail-end of any political alliance. It is like the 10th or 11th batsman in a cricket match. In Bihar they allied with Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar. In Tamil Nadu, they are seeking seats from DMK. Congress is the new tailender of every alliance. This is the state to which Congress leadership has driven the party to.”
Though the BJP is looking to increase the pitch of the nationalism debate, it is also worried about its outreach to Dalits. Jaitley said the Government will launch the ‘Stand Up India’ scheme where every bank branch will give `1 crore loan to SC/STs and women to start big ventures and become big entrepreneurs.