Last Sunday Mr. Nitin Gadkari said that the government would create a new state of Vidharbha. He added that Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi was not opposed to the creation of separate Vidharbha. Let this writer refresh Mr. Gadkari’s memory. During the thick of the recent Maharashtra assembly election campaign he wrote: “Decades ago the BJP solemnly resolved that the nation required smaller states and Vidharbha should be created as a new separate state…. The Shiv Sena on the other hand is firmly committed to a united Maharashtra. During the election campaign when both parties were in contention Shiv Sena leaders urged people to oppose BJP because it wanted to divide Maharashtra state. To counter this Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi emphatically stated that no power on earth would be allowed to divide Maharashtra. The BJP was embarrassed. Through its general secretary it was compelled to reaffirm its policy to create smaller states and a separate Vidharbha. The contradiction is yet to be sorted out between… the BJP and the Prime Minister …. Not once has the BJP clarified whether it will stand by the Prime Minister’s assurance or proceed with its declared resolve to create a separate Vidharbha state.”
Now Mr. Gadkari has spoken. If he is right what will the Prime Minister say? Or do BJP leaders think that by simply lying that the Prime Minister was not opposed to a separate Vidharbha state it can brazen through this contradiction? This episode raises a fundamental question that transcends the Vidharbha issue. It raises questions about this government’s integrity. Can any policy utterance by this government be trusted or is the party obsessed only with winning votes for which it is prepared to lie? Note what the BJP government says and what it does. Consider the party’s recent record.
During the general election campaign the Prime Minister repeatedly said that he would root out corruption. That promise became the central point of his campaign. Over six months have passed since he became Prime Minister. There is not a single major corruption case his government has pursued. The party’s threats against Mr. Robert Vadra during the Haryana poll were cosmetic. The CWG scam, 2G scam and other scam leaders remain untouched. Congress leaders presumed guilty by probe committees were given extensions as Governors by Mr. Modi’s government.
During the campaign the government pledged to retrieve black money stashed abroad within 100 days. In office it is offering the same lame excuses made by the UPA government to justify inaction. Instead the government has introduced the Kisan Vikas Patra scheme that will actually facilitate creation of black money. The BJP has always campaigned against Article 370 in J&K. BJP leaders are taking different stands on Article 370 in the J&K poll campaign. The question is not whether BJP policies are good or bad. The question is whether the party has any policies. If its leaders do not take their own promises seriously, why should people take them seriously?