BJP’s National Council to focus on populism and symbolism

At its three-day National Council meet in Kozhikode beginning Friday, the Bharatiya Janata Party will continue with the populism and symbolism it has embraced in the recent past. The ruling party’s general secretaries, office bearers, and prominent state leaders will discuss an agenda for the uplift of the poor and the strategy to deal with Pakistan in the wake of Uri terror attack. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 25 will inaugurate the year-long birth centenary celebrations of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (1916-68), the party’s ideologue.

BJP leaders have insisted that Upadhyay’s concept of ‘Antyodaya’ (uplift of the last man) will be key to their deliberations which will also touch on the Uri terror attack, that left 18 army men dead, the Kashmir unrest, and other germane issues like state polls scheduled for next year and the GST, according to a PTI report.

In fact, the BJP is trying to blend populism with symbolism, as evident from the array of projects announced in Upadhyay’s name. Recently, it also renamed Paryavaran Bhawan, the seat of the Ministry of Environment, as Pandit Deendayal Antyodaya Bhawan. The term ‘antyodaya,’ or the uplift of the poorest of the poor, is a Gandhian concept which has been embraced by the BJP.

“The party is expected to articulate its ‘garib kalyan’ agenda to reach out to the marginalized like Dalits and OBCs ahead of next year’s crucial state polls, including in Uttar Pradesh,” the PTI report said, adding that Modi will address a public meeting in Kozhikode on Saturday, his first such address after the attack in Uri. He will address the party’s National Council on Sunday.