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|October 7, 1999||
Kalyan owns 'full moral responsibility' for poor showing
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh today owned 'full moral responsibility' for the poor showing by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha elections in the state.
Even as results from the remaining few constituencies were awaited, Singh told a crowded media conference in Lucknow, ''As the head of the government in the state, only I am responsible for this defeat and we have accepted this as a challenge. It's me and only me and no one else.''
The downcast chief minister, who is rushing to New Delhi tomorrow, said, ''I will accept any decision of the BJP's central leadership as a disciplined and committed soldier of the party.'' He, however, refused to elaborate.
Asked whether he would offer to quit, the chief minister said evasively, ''I am going to Delhi to congratulate the senior leaders of the party who have won the elections.''
Admitting that the results were in sharp contradiction to the expectations, Singh said the party would analyse the poll outcome constituency-wise and identify the deficiencies.
He refuted that the party's performance at the hustings could be attributed to the reported infighting. ''The entire state apparatus of the party worked in tandem and efficiently in the run-up to the polls,'' he stressed.
The chief minister complimented state unit chief Rajnath Singh for galvanising the workers for the polls. Regarding Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's reduced victory margin from Lucknow this time, Singh said, ''The poll managers did their best and I am responsible for shortcomings, if any.''
He said 'anti-incumbency' was just one of the factors for the BJP's debacle in the state. ''This time elections in the state were laced with casteism,'' he said.
Singh also pointed out what he called 'tactical voting' by the Muslims as the reason for the party's poor performance. ''Muslims voted for the candidates who, they thought, were capable of defeating the BJP nominees ... Their voting was not party-specific,'' he claimed.
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