NEW DELHI: Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Sunday that the Bharatiya Janata Party is fully committed to the “agenda of governance”, apparently referring to the Agenda for Alliance the saffron party and PDP had agreed upon before forming the coalition government last year.
Speaking on the issue of government formation in J&K on the second day of BJP’s national executive meet, Jaitley said: “We stand fully committed as far as the agenda of governance is concerned with reference to J&K.”
“But in the resolution there is a reference to J&K, particularly in the case of national security,” he reportedly said.
The chances of a PDP-BJP coalition government appeared remote after the saffron party said the PDP can’t set conditions before the government comes into existence. After former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s death, his daughter Mehbooba Mufti has been seeking ‘confidence building measures’ and ‘full implementation’ of the Agenda for Alliance.
On the Jawaharlal Nehru University row, Jaitley said: “Though on the first day, some people did come and raised anti-national slogans in JNU, but by and large in the entire debate on the anti-national slogans, the ultra-left was in the forefront.”
“In fact, the members or leaders of the minority community did not come up. Most of them didn’t comment or participate in that debate.”
Jaitley said: “Ideology of nationalism is driving force for BJP. Free speech can co-exist with idea of nationalism. While our Constitution allows for free speech and dissent, it does not permit destruction of the nation.”
“Our directions are guided by national principles. We fully support freedom of expression. Free speech and thought process of nationality can co-exist – there is no duality in that. We fully support that there must be the right to dissent and disagreement in the society,” he said.
Commenting on the ongoing controversy over shouting nationalist slogans, Jaitley said there should be no debate in this regard. “People in India should have absolutely no difficulty as far as this slogan is concerned. The best example you saw was at Eden Gardens yesterday,” he said.
Loud slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ had rent the air during Saturday’s T20 match between India and Pakistan at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, a contest that the hosts had gone on to win by six wickets.