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Advani sets agenda: Governance, development, Security

By India Syndicate MSN NEWS | Friday, 04 April 2008

Good governance, development and national security. This will be the principal thrust of NDA’s campaign in the next Lok Sabha election, according to BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L K Advani.

Writing in the epilogue to his autobiography `My Country, My Life’, Advani says India is weakened not only by financial corruption and misuse of power in politics and administration, but also by pseudo-secularism, minorityism, vote-bank politics, criminalisation, emasculation of institutions and insult to the sacred symbols of our nationalism.

Excerpts:

“It so happened that I arrived in Rishikesh the same day that the NDA entrusted me with a new responsibility: to lead the alliance in the next Lok Sabha elections. My party’s Parliamentary Board had taken a similar decision a month earlier. This is indeed a challenging responsibility, and I shall do my utmost to discharge it successfully, seeking the support and cooperation of all my colleagues and countrymen, and seeking, above all, strength, guidance and grace from the Almighty. It shall be my unceasing endeavour to make good governance, development and security, both for the country and its citizens, the principal thrust of the NDA’s election campaign and, if the people do give us the mandate, also the guiding objectives of our government.

“India, I believe, has been expectantly looking for honesty in governance and strong leadership that is uncompromisingly committed to the nation’s unity, integrity, security and progress. Our people want to see an end to ‘pollution’ at the Gangotri of Governance—at the nodal centres of power in New Delhi—so that the rest of the Ganga can become clean and life-supporting. And by ‘pollution’ I do not refer only to financial corruption and misuse of power in politics and administration. Of course, corruption of this kind is a foe of both national security and national development, and our people, who are being harassed and humiliated by it at all levels, want to see it eliminated. But ‘pollution’ also manifests in other poisonous forms: pseudo-secularism, minorityism, vote-bank politics, criminalisation, emasculation of institutions and insult to the sacred symbols of our nationalism, all of which are weakening India and making it vulnerable to grave threats.

“No less worrisome is the fact that, even after sixty years of Independence, a majority of our population is receiving only the leftovers of economic growth, while the bulk of its fruits are allowed to be cornered by the rich and the privileged minority. The rich are becoming richer and the poor remaining poor. Our people want a government that cares equally for every section of our diverse society, especially for the poor and deprived. And they are looking for a leadership that genuinely respects democracy and is determined to safeguard its institutions from assaults inspired by selfish considerations. Each of these expectations is legitimate, even urgent. And the future belongs to those in India’s political class who hearken to the people’s demands with a firm commitment to good governance, development and security.

“I have performed every responsibility, minor or major, that has been entrusted to me from time to time in the course of my long political journey with honesty, devotion and commitment. This accounts for the credibility I have earned in public life. In future too, I shall perform any duty that Destiny may assign to me with the same aspiration: make my humble seva towards ensuring that India becomes more united, stronger and stands taller, with its Tomorrow brighter than its Today”.