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Don't drag Rahul, Priyanka into politics: Advani
Ramnath Shenoy on board Advani's bus |
March 14, 2004 16:51 IST
Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani said on Sunday it was wrong to drag a 'young boy and a young girl --Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra -- into politics or campaign if the objective was to promote dynastic rule in the country.
Complete coverage of Advani's yatra
"I have no objection to their joining politics or campaigning...young boy and a young girl... they should not be dragged into this. But if the concept is about dynasty, it is wrong," Advani told PTI in an interview during his Bharat Uday Yatra in Karnataka.
"I am opposed not to their joining politics or campaigning. I am opposed to dynasty".
Asked if Congress chief Sonia Gandhi owed an explanation to the nation as to why she did not opt to take Indian citizenship for about 15 years, Advani said, "Foreign national issue is something in the minds of everyone. I don't have to harp on that."
To a question, he said while dynasty was harmful for democracy, dynasty was disastrous for the Congress.
"Over a period of time," he said, "I have found that the Congress party has no basic democratic norms of functioning. It is used to one leader. Whatever he says is the last word. No one questions it. But the Bharatiya Janata Party could never be so."
Even in the days of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya issues were discussed and there used to be arguments also but 'one finally took collective decisions'.
Advani said his broad assessment was that the Congress might not even cross 100 seats in the Lok Sabha polls.
On the prospects of the National Democratic Alliance and BJP, he said the atmosphere was surcharged with a 'strong wave in favour of a particular party and particular camp'. "The results will exceed all estimates and calculations," he said.
"Today, all estimates and calculations give NDA a clear majority. But I am sure that the final outcome will surpass all these surveys. I have seen it happening in favour of the Congress in 1984 when even Congress would not imagine that the opposition would fare so badly. It happened in 1977 also. In the entire northern belt, Congress could not get even a single seat."
"On that basis, I am very optimistic. It is a match where the outcome is known even before it is played," he said.
Asked in which states BJP would make major gains, he declined to comment. "In my position, it would not be fair to do so. I have to think of all the states. I won't do it," he said.
Advani said BJP has a realistic chance of forming the next government in Karnataka. "Yes. It is a good chance," he said. "The confidence stemmed from the fact there was total disillusionment with the Congress."
Asked if BJP would have seat adjustments with the Janata Dal – United and All India Progressive Janata Dal in Karnataka as sought by them, he said he would leave it to the state unit and the central party to decide.
"But prima facie, I don't see anyone else who can be an alliance partner in BJP," he said.
On how the BJP can have alliance at the national level and not have it at the state level, Advani said BJP has so many parties who were alliance partners in New Delhi. "But that does not justify all these partners becoming alliance partners in states where they do not even exist."
Citing an example, he said BJP has firm alliance with Akali Dal in Punjab and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra over a long period of time. Akali Dal does not demand seats outside Punjab because there is a Sikh population. "It does not happen," he said.
To a question, he said the demand for separate Telangana in Andhra Pradesh was not justified. "There is no consensus in the state for the demand. Telangana is not distant from the (state) capital. The capital is in Telangana."
"Today, unfortunately, or maybe, by design, I do not know, even the Naxalites are supporting it," he said.
Asked to comment on the electoral tie-up between the Congress and Telangana Rashtra Samithi in Andhra Pradesh, he said, "I would always expect the Congress to behave responsibly, which it does not always behave. It has taken a certain position in the Northeast, which encourages separation."
He said carving out of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Uttaranchal from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh was justified in view of imbalanced development in those regions, which suffered over a period of time and which were also distant from their capital cities. He also noted that their assemblies had also passed resolutions in support of carving out of new states.
But in the case of Telangana, there was no resolution passed in the assembly, Advani said.
Asked if the Congress-Telangana Rashtra Samithi tie-up was a setback to the Telugu Desam Party-BJP combine, he said they had assessed it and it would not affect their prospects.
Asked about reports of police harassment to overstaying Pakistani citizens in some parts of Kerala, he shot back, "There is no harassment. How can they be Indian citizens? They went away in 1947 and became Pakistani citizens and then came back after 30-40 years. It is so obvious."
"One of the problems is that Pakistani citizens are overstaying in India and Bangladeshis illegally migrating. These are major problems, not only creating population problems with us but also creating social and security problems with us."
Asked if the BJP would have a structured relationship with the NDA allies after the elections, he said the NDA convenor George Fernandes has issued a statement (on the issue). "I see nothing objectionable. It is a good statement."
Asked if the kind of defections being seen in today's politics meant that the era of value-based politics was over with parties concerned solely about winning elections, Advani said, "At this point of time, anyone coming to this party (BJP) is not a defection. It is (defection) after he is elected in a particular party's ticket and if he changes the side. That is defection. Before an election, if a person makes his choice, that is not defection."