As a part of its strategy to win the next general election that will be held before the current term of parliament ends in 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party has sent its senior officials to widen its support base in U.S.
Addressing the gathering, both Jolly and Lal highlighted the good governance provided by BJP governments in nine states of India. They sought to impress that the BJP-ruled states were more progressive and corruption free than those ruled by Congress and its partners. “The growth rate in states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka are higher than the national average,” said Ram Lal offering an example of the state of Chhattisgarh “where women of all ages are covered by some sort of welfare programs,” Lal said that BJP ruled state governments were providing educational and financial support to women from their birth to death. “We are even ensuring a decent funeral for impoverished women in these states,” he pointed out.
A number of topics were discussed the conference, including the rehabilitation of Kashmiri pundits, displacement of tribal people in Assam and corruption. Projecting his party’s commitment to national unity, Lal emphasized that his party had sacrificed more than any other for the cause of national security. “Scores of our party workers were killed in Kashmir,” he pointed out.
While Lal focused on projecting his party as capable of providing clean administration, Jolly targeted at strengthening its support base in the U.S. “We want to connect with as many of three million people of Indian origin … who have links with their friends and relatives in remote villages of India. If these people send a message to their family and friends in India in favor of BJP, it will definitely be translated into solid support for us in the next general election,” he said.
The two leaders ridiculed the ruling UPA government led by Congress as its image was tainted by various scandals, including the Coalgate scam totaling Rs. 1,76,000 crore, the Commonwealth Games scandal worth Rs.70,000 crore, and the 2G scam involving Rs. 1,60,000 crore. “The Congress led UPA was incapable of ruling India,” they concluded. Jolly, who will visit Washington, D.C., and Tampa, Florida, promised that his party will ensure voting rights for all NRIs within six months of coming to power.