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Line of succession already in place: Vajpayee

April 15, 2004 20:40 IST

In a significant statement, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Thursday disclosed for the first time that the line of succession after him has been decided by the Bharatiya Janata Party but declined to reveal details.

"There is a consensus within the party as to who will replace me after I go," he told NDTV 24x7, a release issued by the TV channel said.

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In the interview after filing his nomination papers in Lucknow constituency for the coming Lok Sabha elections, Vajpayee denied he had contemplated retirement. Asked what he would do after retirement, Vajpayee said, "I would like to go back to my poetry and my writing."

The Prime Minister expressed concern over the growing influence of money power in politics. "This is a disease that will destroy public life in the country. If I could, I would like to see a law being brought in to ensure that no one who has a criminal record is allowed to contest an election."

Vajpayee said he had intervened to deny Chhattisgarh leader and former Union minister Dilip Singh Judeo ticket in the Lok Sabha elections. "I think it (cash-on-camera scam) was an incident that should not happen in public life. Such things do not enhance the stature of politicians," he said.

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