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BJP will shake hands with Cong if...
April 04, 2006 17:07 IST
Last Updated: April 04, 2006 17:09 IST
Former Bharatiya Janata Party President L K Advani Tuesday gave ample indications that his party was ready to shake hands with the Congress if it reversed its ''politics of minorityism''.
''The day the Congress party honestly accepts that 'communalisation of domestic policy is not in India's national interest, and reverses its politics of minorityism, a firm foundation will have been laid for the two principal national parties in India's bipolar polity -- BJP and Congress -- to make a common cause in a very wide area of politics and governance,'' the former deputy prime minister said at a joint press conference with party President Rajnath Singh ahead of their 'Suraksha Yatras' from Rajkot and Bhubaneswar respectively on April 6.
Criticising the UPA's ''appeasement policy'' stating it may lead to another division of the country, he said the BJP was firmly against the notion of ''majority'' and ''minority'' gaining roots in the political system of India.
''This divisive mindset jeopardises India as one united, integral and harmonious nation,'' Advani said.
In a statement, the two leaders agreed with Congress President Sonia Gandhi's observation in a party magazine that ''some political parties are trying to communalise foreign policy for short term electoral gains...we do not think that religion can or should be the matrix for national interest in a country as linguistically and religiously pluralistic as India.''
They, however, asked her and the Congress to introspect on whether it was right to communalise India's domestic policy. ''Is it in the national interest for religion to be the matrix in matters of reservations, infiltration from Bangladesh, census in the armed forces?'' they asked.
Advani described Gandhi's statement as ''positive'', but regretted that the Congress spokesman denied the very next day that it was aimed at the Left parties for mobilising Muslims for anti-Bush demonstrations recently.
He said ''minorityism and the failures of the UPA government on all fronts'' were the main reasons for the BJP to decide to take out the yatras which had a five-fold objective -- highlight national security, defend national unity, expose corruption in high places, save parliamentary democracy and protect economic security of the common man.
The two BJP leaders said the politics of minorityism, if unchecked, would prove a disaster for the country. ''What needs to be understood by all concerned is that, far from helping the minorities, it actually undermines their development and well-being,'' they said.