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July 20, 1999
Kargil not to be a poll issue: BJP
Bharatiya Janata Party president Kushabhau Thakre has said that India's military victory in Kargil would not be made an election issue by his party and the 'overall excellent performance' of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government would be the sole issue in the campaign.
Addressing the media in Nagpur last night, he charged that it was the Congress which was politicising the Kargil issue. ''This compelled us to clarify the position. Otherwise, the BJP-led alliance would not like to make it a poll plank.''
The remarks of Thakre were significant following Prime Minister Vajpayee's reported 'strong objection' to his party's proposal of observing August 15 as Victory Day in commemoration of the military victory in Kargil. Vajpayee's stance forced his party leadership to drop the move.
Asked whether Congress president Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin would be a poll issue, he replied in the negative and remarked this job was left to Sharad Pawar (Nationalist Congress Party president).
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