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Corruption hurts BJP: Advani
April 05, 2006 21:48 IST
A day before he embarks on a new yatra, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani again spoke about his party's image, saying 'factionalism and corruption' hurt the organisation.
"This is slippery ground. The general phrase is Congressisation of the BJP - all this factionalism, corruption, they do hurt," he told NDTV in an interview.
Also, he said, "If politics is a profession like any other, then there has to be professional integrity. After 1947, politics has gradually degenerated not into a profession, but pure commerce and a way to make quick money."
The 78-year-old leader of the Opposition also said he was not averse to becoming prime minister - "I don't see anything wrong in wanting to be the prime minister."
When pressed further, he added, "I would not say I would not want the post. But it's for the party and everyone to decide, though very often these matters are not decided even by the parties. These happen themselves."
The BJP leader, who quit as party chief on December 31 last in the wake of the Jinnah row, admitted that there were problems in the organisation and said the party's sudden growth in the last two decades contributed to 'decline in standards'.
Advani said his yatra, which will begin on Thursday, would 'also' reach out to Muslims. He asserted - "I am not criticising minorities in this particular campaign."
He stressed the need for the BJP to shed its image acquired over the years of being 'anti-minority, anti-Muslim and anti-Islam'. Such an image, he added, was 'not real, not correct'.
The BJP leader said his yatra was only against 'minorityism', which he alleged was being practised by the Congress and the Left. "Minorityism hurts the country very badly," he said, adding India is secular because of Hindus.
The former deputy prime minister, however, said in his political life spanning five decades he had not come across any better mode of communication with the masses than a yatra.
Advani said good governance "would not necessarily bring victory' in elections and what was needed was 'prudent politics'. He cited the example of the 'much maligned' Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in this regard.
Also, Advani defended his actions in Pakistan last year, saying what he said and did brought the two countries 'closer'.
Complete coverage: The BJP's twin yatras