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BJP optimistic about UP polls
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | March 24, 2007 23:23 IST
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former prime minister of India and senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party, will not be present in Kanpur when former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh launches the party's campaign on Sunday.
He was earlier expected to attend the launch.
"Vajpayeeji is not well and hence he would not be present," M Venkaiah Naidu told rediff.com after a press conference held at his residence on Saturday afternoon.
Naidu has been asked to lead the party campaign in the Hindi heartland. The BJP will begin its election campaign from 12 centres. While former deputy prime minister L K Advani will address a public rally in Agra, party president Rajnath Singh, will hold fort in Jhansi.
"Party general secretaries associated with UP elections and other senior leaders hve already taken charge and in this election, Samajwadi party will be wiped out," Naidu said.
He admitted that the BJP has reasons to feel happy about its prospects after the internal survey showed that chances of it coming back to power have brightened.
Talking about the issues that the party planned to take up in a big manner, Naidu mentioned Singur and Nandigram.
"We are in favour of Special Economic Zones but we have to protect the interests of the farmers. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that the government will take corrective measures, if necessary. However, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat says they will wait for the report by the group of ministers. We want to know if the prime minister has been able to find out what is wrong with the present scheme. Congress president Sonia Gandhi has maintained a studied silence on the matter," he said.
He also took strong exception to the manner in which the government of India announced special package for the victims of Gujarat riots.
"What about the victims of attack on Akshardham? What about the kar sevaks burnt in the Godhra train? We will certainly make this election issue," he declared.
He ridiculed the manner in which the Congress disassociated from its own prime minister P V Narasimha Rao, when Rahul Gandhi claimed that if the Gandhis had been in power, Babri Masjid would never have been demolished.