BJP pitch for youth, dalits
Thursday, 18 February 2010 02:49 Indore, Feb. 17: In his inaugural
address on day one of the three-day national executive meet of his
party that began here on Wednesday, BJP president Nitin Gadkari ask
senior leaders to provide opportunities to young leaders.
He said, "The problems in the party are not because of small workers
but those to whom it has given so much. They will have to think
whether their political career is important or the political ideology
and spread of the party."
Speaking behind closed doors — only the speech's highlights were
shared with the media — Mr Gadkari urged senior party leaders to allow
the younger rung more opportunities instead of trying to block their
An indication of the move to reach out to the dalits also came from Mr
Gadkari's mention in his speech of his recent visit to a dalit party
worker's home during which he shared a meal with his family.
While rejecting media reports that the visit was mere vote-bank politics and
aimed at countering Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's growing popularity
among the dalits, Mr Gadkari maintained that the issue of
untouchability was part of the BJP's "political commitment."
Mr Gadkari who earlier visited Mhow, the birthplace of Dalit icon Bhim
Rao Ambedkar, even compared the Dalit leader to American civil rights
activist Martin Luther King.
But it was Mr Gadkari's remarks criticising senior party leaders for
not making way for the young that had the national executive abuzz
With senior BJP leaders often accused of not making way for young
leaders, the party president today indicated that this would no longer
be allowed to continue.
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