BJP woos NRIs ahead of LS polls

While addressing the delegates from 32 countries under the banner of Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) seminar on the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas at party headquarters on Monday, Advani said, ‘If Harsh Vardhan’s name could have been announced earlier, people could see him as a chief minister.’

Thodi khamiyan thi (there were some lapses),’ Advani said while referring delay in announcing Harsh Vardhan’s name as a CM nominee.

He further quips while silently attacking the Congress, ‘If his name could have announced much later then AAP could have got the full majority. We should focus in making India a great nation and in 10 years Congress survived only because of No Ball. We will hit six this time.’

Many feel that his statement may invite a debate and could create distrust against the Delhi BJP unit chief Vijay Goel and indicate his possible way out as the party needs a credible face especially ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

Meanwhile, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, who was also present on the occasion, slammed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Prashant Bhushan’s statement for a referendum regarding de-militarisation issue in the Valley.

On the context of India’s downfall during Congress regime, Jaitley said, ‘A huge number of projects are pending because of differences of opinion among leaders. In today’s world we must have a tall leader to run the government. The prime minister should have the authority to take decision. There is a need to curb inflation, unemployment problem, and should have special focus on North East and Central India to deal with the insurgency and Maoists issues. We have to develop these places. The coming election will be a historic and challenging for us.’

BJP president Rajnath Singh, while inaugurating the OFBJP meet said, ‘Our party will get a clear majority in the Lok Sabha election. The present government has brought down the country’s credibility.’

While wooing the NRIs, Singh promised that his party, if come to power, will facilitate FDI by the NRIs in the country. ‘The Indian diaspora was the second largest in the world after the Chinese but its contribution to FDI was a modest 10 to 15 per cent. You should cooperate in the formation of a BJP government and we will create conditions that your contribution to the FDI in the country will go up to 40-45 per cent,’ Singh said.

He claimed that if BJP comes to power they will give more emphasis in the manufacturing sector and could float bonds which would allow NRIs to invest in this sector.

‘The NRIs have invested in the Resurgent India Bonds which had been floated by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government after the Pokharan nuclear tests in 1998. We know that it is a problem for the NRIs to travel back to India with families to vote. We feel that NRIs should also be allowed to cast their votes in the embassies abroad,’ the party president said.

He also urged the US government to consider the Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernisation Act of 2013 as the visa fees had increased causing problem before the Indian engineers.

Singh said that there should be a system under which NRIs should be able to get their children admitted to IITs and other institutions in India.

Among those who attended the event was Mahendra Chaudhary, former prime minister of Fiji, and England-based Lord Rajinder Paul Loomba. The event was organised by BJP Overseas Affairs convener Vijay Jolly.

It was learnt that the BJP will meet the Election Commission on Thursday to take initiative so that NRI’s could allowed for a postal ballot in the coming election.

Cong, AAP in ‘synergy’ on Kashmir: Lekhi

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of Prashant Bhushan’s comments on referendum on the presence of army in Kashmir, BJP on Sunday charged AAP and Congress with speaking in ‘synergy’ on the issues related to the border state and toeing the line of Pakistan.

Insisting that AAP and Congress are ‘working in tandem’, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi on Monday said Bhushan’s statement is in the same vein as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remarks that India and Pakistan had almost reached an agreement on Kashmir when Pervez Musharraf was President.

Army deployment in Kashmir can’t be debated: CPI-M

New Delhi: The CPI-M Monday said that army deployment must be decided by the government and it is not an issue of public debate. ‘These decisions are taken by those in power, these are not matters of public debate,’ Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury said.
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