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India cannot be a Hindu State: Advani
June 13, 2003 14:20 IST
Addressing the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations and later a well-attended meeting of the Indian American community in Chicago on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani rejected suggestions that India be turned into a Hindu State.
That was an option rightly rejected by the leaders at the time of partition of the country and now cannot be changed, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said and gave a 'solemn pledge' that it would not be done.
Advani expressed confidence that the Bharatiya Janata party would win the parliamentary elections scheduled for 2004 and that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee would continue to lead the country.
His party, he said, would not fight elections purely on political issues but stress on good governance, development and other economic issues.
Since forming the coalition government, the BJP had tried to fulfill the promises it has made in its election manifesto. It might not be one hundred per cent successful but it also cannot be accused of ignoring them, he said.
There is no denying that the country has made much more progress under Vajpayee's leadership than under several earlier governments, he said.
In this connection, he paid tribute to the stewardship of Vajpayee who, he said, had successfully led the government in coalition with several parties, some whom once did not want to even 'touch' the BJP, and in the process has proved wrong doomsayers who were predicting a short tenure for National Democratic Alliance government.
Vajpayee is now the longest serving non-Congress prime minister, he pointed out.
Some sixty Indian American organisations had come together to extend a warm welcome to Advani, who also addressed a meeting of party workers.
Advani in US: Complete Coverage