The main outcome of the 16th session of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh was perhaps the sharpening of the Madhok-Vajpayee rift. The first indication of the controversy appeared in the working committee meeting when it failed to adopt the draft resolution on the political situation, even after eight hours of discussion, as it was sharply divided over the policy to adopted towards the Congress.
Balraj Madhok group felt that JS was neared to the Syndicate Congress and an alliance should be formed it. Atal Bihari Vajpayee group maintained that there was very little difference between the two Congresses before and after the split. The working committee had to redraft the official resolution.
The political resolution called for an all-out anti-Communist front and a determined political offensive against the Indira Gandhi government.
The economic resolution has similarities on too many points with those of the ruling Congress, organisation Congress and other parties like the PSP and SSP. Madhok said: “In our love for being called progressive, it is necessary that we should not lose our distinct identity.”
The JS called for rapid land reforms, ceiling on land holdings, ensuring the rights of tenants and share-croppers, upliftment of backward classes and so on.
Excerpts from Frontier 17 January 1970
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