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Advani may join the race for PM's post if...

Last updated on: October 15, 2011 14:20 IST

Advani may join the race for PM's post if...

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Keeping alive the issue of his prime ministerial ambitions, Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani has said he would decide on it depending on his "health" and "capability" to contribute at the time of Lok Sabha polls.

The former deputy prime minister, who is currently on his yatra against corruption, admitted that satta parivartan (change of government) was one of the objectives of his 38-day cross-country campaign.

"Satta parivartan is one of the objectives of this yatra... It is a political campaign," he told PTI in an interview when asked whether he was a politician trying to play a social reformer.


Image: At L K Advani's Jan Chetna Yatra
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.bjp.org/
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'My party has credibility'

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"What will happen to my credibility if there is a change in government but corruption continues? My party has credibility because we have essentially some good governments in states and when there are issues, like in Karnataka, we take steps," he said.

Asked whether his yatra was an attempt to reap political benefits by milking the anger against corruption, he said that associating his party with "political dividends was not doing justice" to his cause.

"The issue is not a party or a leader but whether we will allow the government to indulge in corruption in this way," he said as he travelled on his rath from Satna to Umariya in Madhya Pradesh.


Image: At L K Advani's Jan Chetna Yatra
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.bjp.org/
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Advani speaks on race for PM's post

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Advani was asked what his response would be if there was a consensus in the party on his name for the PM's post.

"It depends on my own assessment of how much I can contribute and my health," replied the 84-year-old leader. 

Advani dismissed BJP leader Uma Bharti's comments, that anyone who raises the issue of corruption from Varanasi goes on to occupy the top position, saying he had started his yatra from Sitabdiara in Bihar and not from Varanasi.


Image: At L K Advani's Jan Chetna Yatra
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.bjp.org/
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'PM is a failure'

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On why the BJP did not win the last two Lok Sabha elections if its track record was as good as he claimed, the party veteran attributed the failure of 2004 to "over confidence".

In the next elections, "the BJP could not project itself as a homogenous party," he added.

At the same time, Advani attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, claiming that "he is a failure" for his inability to deal with corruption.

"It is not enough for the prime minister to be honest, the prime minister also has to stop others who indulge in corruption," he said.


Image: At L K Advani's Jan Chetna Yatra
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.bjp.org/
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'Political parties cannot be replaced by an NGO'

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"He is a failure, a failure for essentially failing to realise that it is at the prime minister's desk that the buck stops," alleged Advani, who had repeatedly branded Dr Singh as a "weak" prime minister in the run-up to the 2009 polls.

He also commented on Anna Hazare's movement against corruption, saying NGOs can't replace political parties.

"Political parties cannot be replaced by an NGO. The difference between Anna Hazare's approach to corruption and Jai Prakash Narain's approach to corruption is that Jai Prakash never thought of saying that I will have nothing to do with political parties. He consciously brought together all political parties," he added.


Image: At L K Advani's Jan Chetna Yatra
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.bjp.org/
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'Other parties are run by a family'

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As Advani answered questions, his daughter Pratibha, who is accompanying him on his yatra, was recording visuals of BJP supporters.

Asked if he saw a political role for anyone in his family, Advani said one of the issues over which he was waging a political battle against the Congress was the dynasty culture and he would not do anything that weakens his fight.

"Barring the BJP and Communist parties, almost all other parties are run by a family or an individual," Advani noted.


Image: At L K Advani's Jan Chetna Yatra
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.bjp.org/
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