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BJP ex-boss deifies Vajpayee, puts Advani down
October 27, 2005 19:32 IST
Former Bharatiya Janata Party president K Jana Krishnamurthy on Thursday differed with the recent controversial observation of party president Lal Kishenchand Advani alleging increasing interference of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the day-to-day working of the party.
He added former prime minister Atal Bihari remained the tallest leader of the party.
Krishnamurthy, who had to resign as party president following the its defeat in the last Lok Sabha election, in an interview to a Hindi weekly, said the BJP had lost the polls as it had drifted away from its ideology and values, which had been the motivational force of the cadre since the Jan Sangh days.
He said: "It is not so. Question does not arise of any such interference if one understands the relationship between the BJP and the RSS. We do go to the RSS to seek their advice and guidance."
He regretted that the country at present had no national leader who had a sway all over the country and who could dare to say what had eroded the national political set-up. He said Advani and others were merely leaders of one party or the other.
"Vajpayee is only leader who is accepted by the whole nation. But he has become old and one should not expect much from him keeping in view his age and health," Krishnamurthy said.
On Pramod Mahajan's comment that the party was lacking collective leadership, Krishnamurthy said the observation was based on Mahajan's experience in the past three years.
He said he also differed with Advani that ideology could be compromised to achieve the objective.
"I feel that a party without ideology is like a ship that loses its direction. Ideology is always bigger than an individual,'' he said.
On the question of dominance of the five-star culture in the party, he said this impression had gained ground as the party had of late held its executive meetings in big hotels.
"There should not be a communication gap between the leaders and the workers in the party. The BJP had succeeded not because of leaders but workers. People vote for the party, not for a leader," he said.
He, however, singled out Vajpayee from this observation saying, "Atalji and BJP are synonymous. Atalji means BJP and BJP means Atalji."
He said the BJP and the Congress should bury their political and ideological differences and work in unison on national issues to strengthen the country.
"To begin with they can cooperate with each other in the economic field which will eventually open the gate for political cooperation,'' he said and called for a national debate in this regard.
He said the NDA had been formed to run a government but it did not mean that the party should abandon its ideology. Coalition was a compulsion for forming a government, not for the BJP.
The party should have not given up the ideology it had been pursuing for the past 50 years after coming to power.
He also held the party's strategy responsible for its defeat in the parliamentary elections, saying it was wrong to severe ties with Chandrababu Naidu's Telegu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu and Om Prakash Chautala's Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana.
The former BJP president also lamented the increasing tendency to ignore the 'old and dedicated' party workers, saying it was a serious matter of concern.