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January 23, 2002
2200 IST

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I never called Vajpayee mask of
govt: Govindacharya

Bharatiya Janata Party ideologue K N Govindacharya on Wednesday said he had never referred to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a "mask" of the government.

In an interview to Aaj Tak news channel, he said: "I never called Vajpayeeji a mask. I respect him and he has love for me."

Govindacharya, who is on a two-year sabbatical, which ends on January 14 next year, said the present economic policies of the government are born out of certain compulsions and were those of the National Democratic Alliance and not the BJP.

"These policies are to a certain extent correct, but pose problems in certain areas. Hunger and unemployment are the two main problems facing the country and indiscriminate globalisation cannot provide the solution," he said.

"Economic reforms in the last ten years have widened the rift between the rich and the poor, accentuated unemployment and worsened the condition of women," he said.

Govindacharya said he would submit his report on economic reforms to the party next year on completion of his sabbatical.

On the issue of Ram temple, he said: "If it is not built in Ayodhya, where else would it be built? It should be built in the birthplace of Ram."

Asked whether he would campaign for the party in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, he said it was for the big leaders of the party to decide.

PTI

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