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Home > News > PTI

Advani holds out olive branch to Uma, others

April 04, 2007 13:51 IST

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Uttar Pradesh Elections 2007

In a bid to prevent division of saffron votes in UP Assembly elections, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader on Wednesday held out an olive branch to Bharatiya Janshakti chief Uma Bharti saying those who had been part of the saffron fold should come in support of Hindutva.

"It is up to the party chief and the party to decide. But I would like to say that all those people who had been with us should come in support of Hindutva," Lal Kishenchand Advani told a news conference in Kanpur.

He was asked about the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's reported statements that there should be no split in Hindu votes because of the row between Bharti and the BJP and that Hindutva forces should unite.

Advani's remarks followed the BJP's reconciliation, brokered by the VHP, with its member of Parliament Yogi Adityanath, whose revolt over ticket distribution had threatened division in saffron votes in the Gorakhpur region.

Bharti, who had been expelled from the BJP for her outbursts against the party leadership, launched the Bharatiya Janshakti that she says espouses the core Sangh ideology.

BJP insiders admit she has been able to make inroads into their party vote-block in Uttarakhand and could cause potential damage in Uttar Pradesh's Bundelkhand region.

Advani also referred to the Ayodhya issue, calling the construction of a Ram temple on the disputed site a "national desire."

He insisted talks between leaders of the two communities was the best way to "honour the nation's desire."

The former deputy prime minister said the issue could also be resolved through judicial and legislative measures.

The BJP leader also defended a party election CD that allegedly carries references to Babri and the Godhra train arson of 2002.

"I have not seen the CD. But I do not think that anything that contains a mention of Babri or Godhra can be deemed provocative," Advani remarked when asked whether the video was made with his consent.

In his comments on the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Summit in New Delhi, Advani maintained that his party staunchly opposed the joint anti-terror mechanism with Pakistan, whom he blamed for terrorism in India.

Citing news reports, the former deputy prime minister said his party would also oppose any attempt for joint management of Jammu and Kashmir.

"There can be no sharing of government with any other country and certainly not with a country with which we have differences of a serious kind," he remarked.

Advani maintained that the ruling UPA's present policy towards Pakistan in its talks over Kashmir and the peace process in general was wrong and opposed demands for demilitarisation of the state.

"Demilitarisation would give terrorists a licence for the Valley-type religious cleansing in Jammu," he said.

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