New Delhi, May 10: BJP on Monday held a conclave of its chief ministers here to discuss the status of governance in the states ruled by the party and make necessary improvements with a view to increasing the party's votebase to take on Congress.
"Party president Nitin Gadkari, in his inaugural address, said BJP governments in states ruled over 36 per cent of the country's population. The percentage of Congress in states comes to only 31 per cent. BJP governments performed really well in terms of accountability and good governance," party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The two-day conclave is Gadkari's brainchild. He has emphasised on good governance since he took over the reins of the party in December 2009. A similar meeting was held last year in Mumbai.
Gadkari hailed the performance of BJP-ruled states in different fields, including in implementation of 20-point programmes for people's welfare.
"But he also underlined that there is a need to make improvements in certain fields, namely, irrigation, agriculture, alleviating the lives of those Below the Poverty Line, preventing infant mortality and so on," Prasad said, quoting his party president.
Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand were present in the meeting. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will join the meeting tomorrow. He stayed back in Bhopal due to local body elections there.
Some state unit presidents and senior ministers from NDA-ruled states are also participating in the conclave. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi was also present.
Corruption, an issue on which the main opposition has taken on Congress for the last few months, also figured in the discussions during the conclave.
BJP's campaign against corruption has been somewhat blunted due to allegations of graft and nepotism against Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.
"Gadkari said the increase in misuse of official machinery against us is directly proportional to declining image of the government of India," Prasad said.
BJP has been crying foul since 2009 against alleged step-motherly treatment by the Congress-led UPA government to the states where it is in power.
Gadkari said in his address that some established government institutions like National Development Council and Inter-state Council have been made "completely defunct" by the UPA government which is engaged in "eroding" the federal structure of the country.
The BJP leadership also discussed ways to increase the party's votebank, improving the coordination between its governments and the party organisation.
"All Chief Ministers and ministers should not forget that they are also party workers and are stakeholders in the party's growth," Gadkari said.
As part of its aim to reach out to the minorities, BJP will also ensure that there is good governance in Haj committees and Wakf boards in the states where it is in power.
Party's core issues like Hindutva and Antyodaya should also be given impetus, Gadkari said in his speech.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told the chief ministers that India had entered the phase where there is a two-pole coalition.
"He said the third front pioneers, the Left parties, will be reduced to columnists of the UPA government after the results of the Assembly elections are announced," according to Prasad.
A major focus of the conclave is the alleged discrimination against BJP-ruled states by the Centre. PTI