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I'm BJP's Hanuman: Venkaiah Naidu
Onkar Singh in Mumbai | December 30, 2005 11:20 IST
Last Updated: December 30, 2005 13:27 IST
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said he was the Hanuman of the party, referring to Atal Bihari Vajpayee's announcement to quit power politics and his describing Lal Kishenchand Advani and Pramod Mahajan as the 'Ram-Lakhsman' duo on Thursday.
Asked if he agreed with Vajpayee calling Advani and Mahajan as Ram and Lakshman, Naidu said 'there should be no problem for anyone with that. On my part, I am the devoted Hanuman'.
"Whether Vajpayee or Advani remain in post, they will still continue to guide the party and we will continue to benefit from their guidance," he said.
When a journalist pointed out that Hanuman was said to have brought the life-saving Sanjeevani for Lakshman when he was rendered unconscious in battle, the former BJP president just smiled.
Naidu, vice president of the BJP, asked party workers to go back to the basics and return to villages and districts instead of sitting in state capitals or in New Delhi. Addressing party delegates, he said that time has come when the leaders should encourage their younger colleagues.
"I hope the new party president would do something about it when he takes over, that he will talk about the farmers," Naidu said, dropping a clear hint that Rajnath Singh would take over as the party president despite the former prime minister's description of and Mahajan as Ram and Laxman.
He hit out at some of his party colleagues like Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley by naming them. "When I became president of the party they complained to Advaniji that I was travelling more in the villages and districts than being available to them in New Delhi. I say I should be more in streetlanes than in the capital," he said.
He embarassed Arun Jaitley further by making an indirect reference to him. "Some leaders do not want to spend a night in Lucknow. They tell you - Venkaiahji chalo plane ka time ho gaya hai," he said.
Making another indirect reference to the MPs caught in a bribery scam, Naidu said the party should not act in a hurry as if it is doing a court martial. There should be reasonable and quick redressal system for those who have problems.
"While enforcing discipline, we should also listen to the complaints. Some leaders who are no longer in the party keep making comments about BJP," he said in what was an obvious dig at Uma Bharti, former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh who has been expelled from the party.
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With PTI inputs