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BJP not looking for scapegoats: Mahajan
June 21, 2004 19:35 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday said it is not searching for a scapegoat for the drubbing received in the recent Lok Sabha polls and ruled out any discussion on the possible sacking of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at its national executive meeting commencing in Mumbai on Tuesday.
To repeated queries, Mahajan said: "The issue of Modi's removal will not be discussed at the national executive. The matter is over now."
There had been some speculation in the media that Modi would be asked to quit after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, while holidaying in Manali in Himachal Pradesh, listed the Gujarat riots of 2002 as one of the factors for the party's defeat.
Mahajan said the Gujarat issue was discussed by the party's central parliamentary board on Sunday in Delhi and the party president Venkaiah Naidu's statement that Modi would not be disturbed "at this juncture" had Vajpayee's consent.
Asked what if Vajpayee raised the issue at the executive, Mahajan said: "Vajpayeeji is the tallest leader of the party
and he can raise any topic, who will challenge him."
Mahajan said the party will discuss threadbare the task ahead in an attempt to it regain its glorious past. He said every state unit president would submit his assessment of the Lok Sabha results and "Gujarat will be discussed in this context only."
The party would also fine-tune its strategy for the upcoming assembly elections in five states, beginning with Maharashtra in September-October, he said.
The meeting will begin with the inaugural address of Venkaiah Naidu. On June 23, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Lal Kishenchand Advani will address the around 199 delegates.
Vajpayee is scheduled to address the concluding pre-lunch session on June 24.
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