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Following Advani: Answers to your queries

March 21, 2004 21:38 IST

Sanjay Gupta in Indore
Why is the media so biased in this country? Why just Muslim appeasement is considered to be secular? With Dr M S Gill joining the Congress party, don't you feel that on the top of his mind during his days as CEC, he had been inclined towards the Congress and took biased decisions?
Pankaj: I must say media-bashing has become the next most popular sport after cricket. But so be it.
As far as Gill joining the Congress is concerned, how is that connected to appeasement of Muslims? Are you referring to any particular decision of his? If you are, let's hear about it?

Nageswara Sastry Ganduri in Pune
I am a great fan of Shri A B Vajpayee, Chandrababu Naidu and L K Advani. I am anxious to know whether Advani's yatra evoked good response in Telangana region? Telangana holds the key for both BJP and TDP to return to the power, I guess.
Pankaj: The turnout in Andhra Pradesh, including Telangana, was good. Chandrababu Naidu joining Advani in Hyderabad provided the right impetus to the yatra. Interestingly, Advani spent a lot of his time in Andhra Pradesh wooing Muslims.

Dhananjay Rawal in Belapur
Is Uddhav Thackeray candidate for CM's post in Maharashtra? How strong is the Congress in Nagpur?
Pankaj: Uddhav Thackeray is certainly the Shiv Sena's chief ministerial candidate.
As far as the Congress in Nagpur is concerned, it is quite strong. The seat is currently held by Vilas Muttemwar of the Congress. This time around there is again no serious challenge to him. The Vidarbha Rajya Aghadi may eat into his votes if it fields a candidate in Nagpur. However, if the BJP joins hands with the VRA, the contest then will become very, very interesting.

Rajas in Pune
Pankaj, I've regularly read your response to questions on this yatra. Why do you sound anti-NDA? As a responsible journalist, you should at least sound neutral. Doesn't common sense and all trends indicate that the current political situation/set up is going to and should continue for the coming 5 yrs? Thanks.
Pankaj: Dear Rajas, it would have helped if you had cited an example of my anti-NDA bias. I have been reporting what I saw in Solapur, Umarga, Yavatmal, Wardha and Nagpur. In fact, I came back quite impressed by the response the yatra has generated.
As far as the NDA is concerned, my personal view, let me repeat my personal view, is that NDA must be voted back to power, for there is no other healthy alternative.

Click Here for the Yatra Route Map

Amit Katayayan in Jhumri Telaiya
Do you ever want to become the prime minister of India?
Pankaj: I sure do, Amit. Unfortunately, I do not have the patience to wait till I am 70.

Roopesh Thaikand in Kerala
Advaniji is talking about the nationality of Sonia. Being a Pakistani, does he have the right?
Pankaj: You have a point, Roopesh. But I think this issue has been done to death. Advani, in the meetings that I attended, did not mention Sonia even once. Others did. He concentrates on the work that the NDA has done in the past six years and he knows that is what appeals to the masses.

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