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Vajpayee adamant on discussing Gujarat
June 17, 2004 14:53 IST
Last Updated: June 17, 2004 18:10 IST
Gujarat will be discussed at the Bharatiya Janata Party's forthcoming National Executive in Mumbai, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee reiterated on Thursday.
"We will discuss it with an open mind. We discuss [such issues] both after victory and defeat. We will not be afraid of discussion," he said at a public meeting in Manali in response to a question from the audience.
On Sunday, the former PM had created a flutter in the Sangh Parivar when he said that the issue of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's removal would be discussed and that he had personally favoured his removal in the wake of the post-Godhra violence.
After arriving in Manali, he also said that the Gujarat violence could be one of the reasons for the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha election. Surprisingly, on Monday party leaders met in Delhi after which BJP president Venkaiah Naidu ruled out Modi's removal and discussion on the Gujarat issue.
During a meeting of the BJP's state executive members, Vajpayee said that the party lost because people were angry with some of its allies.
Taking a dig at the 90-odd party MPs who lost the polls, he said, "When they won, they celebrated with pomp and show, trumpets and drumbeats. People had supported them but they could not maintain the support, they could not take the people along."
"The polls are over. Those who have been defeated should accept it and the winners should ponder over what to do next, whether they want to come back or not," Vajpayee said.
Without naming the Congress, he said that the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh were won over the issue of farmers' suicides.
Regretting that polls were becoming increasingly expensive, he said when he won his first election in 1957, he had only two jeeps -- one that he had managed and another that the party arranged for him.
He regretted that even after 56 years of independence the country had not become a developed nation. However, he said the country's economy was doing well and there were voices supporting India's inclusion as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
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