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Prez poll: Advani's personal appeal to voters
July 05, 2007 17:38 IST
After his appeal to the United Progressive Alliance to replace its presidential candidate Pratibha Patil, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Kishenchand Advani has now written to all Parliamentarians and legislators, seeking a conscience vote in the July 19 election.
In a letter in his capacity as a Lok Sabha member, the former deputy prime minister wrote that Patil faces allegations pertaining to "protection of criminalisation of politics", referring to charges leveled by the widow of a slain Maharashtra Congress leader that she protected her brother in the local Congress leader's murder.
He accused Congress chief Sonia Gandhi of having devalued the office of the prime minister by "handpicking a person who exercises no authority of his own".
"And now the plan seems to be to have as Rashtrapati someone who just cannot act independently," he said in a six-page handwritten letter.
He maintained that allegations against Patil ante date her being named as a presidential nominee.
"We in the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance went to the Rashtrapati Bhavan [Images] on several occasions, seeking action against 'tainted ministers' in the UPA government. But what if the Rashtrapati Bhavan itself gets a 'tainted occupant'?" he wrote.
Advani, who addressed each voter as friend, recalled how a state of Emergency was declared in the country in 1975.
"If you have in the president's chair a pliant person, who is loyal not to the Constitution, but just to an individual, this is always likely to happen," he said.
All members of the Electoral College, he added, were expected to weigh the integrity and competence of the candidates. "This is a personal appeal to you to cast a conscience vote to uphold the dignity of Rashtrapati Bhavan," Advani said.
Advani has earlier made an appeal, which has been rejected by the ruling alliance, to UPA leaders to replace Patil with a suitable candidate of their choice.
Reporters at the BJP briefing, where his letter was released, raised objections over its "selective leak" on Wednesday to a TV channel.
BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who announced the release of the letter, however, declined to comment on the matter.