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Vajpayee asks former PMs: Can you trust the Congress?

February 06, 2004 17:44 IST
Last Updated: February 06, 2004 19:27 IST

Referring to the 'grand alliance' being cobbled up to fight the ruling coalition, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday asked opposition leaders how they could trust the Congress, which had ditched most of them at some point of time.

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He was referring to leaders like H D Deve Gowda, I K Gujral and Chandrashekhar, whose governments the Congress had brought down but who are now helping its president Sonia Gandhi forge a joint front against the National Democratic Alliance.

Accusing the Congress of practising 'immoral' politics, he said the problems and miseries faced by the country were a 'gift' of the Congress party.

The prime minister said the Congress had failed as a ruler as well as an opposition. In a veiled attack on the 'dynasty rule' within the Congress, he said, "Humare yahan, neta janam nahi leta; balki kaam karke hi kisi manzil tak pahunchta hai (In our party, leaders are not born but rise to become one on the basis of their work)."

Saying the success of his coalition government has removed its 'misconception' that the country could not be ruled without it at the helm, he asked the people to give the Bharatiya Janata Party a clear mandate to end all difficulties once and for all.

"The problems faced by the BJP-led coalition government during the past five years were inherited from successive Congress governments that ruled the country," Vajpayee told the BJP national council in Delhi.

"The Kashmir problem is a gift of Congress. We have been trying to solve it. For the first time, free and fair elections were held in that state and increased the faith of the people in the electoral process. These elections changed the mindset of the entire world towards Kashmir and India," he said adding the National Democratic Alliance government needed some more time to resolve the Kashmir issue and win the complete support of the people.

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The prime minister took the Congress to task over not taking steps to inter-link rivers in the country. "Had this step been undertaken at least 40 years back, the country would not have seen drought. This government has taken some steps in this direction and if this project is completed, drought will become a thing of the past," he said.

Referring to the boundary dispute with China, he said, "I went to China and told my counterpart that: let us sit and talk and resolve this matter through negotiations. The process is on."

He said BJP would focus on getting an absolute majority in the coming Lok Sabha elections so that people-friendly policies could be implemented more quickly.

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