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Gujarat riots a cause of defeat: Vajpayee

June 12, 2004 15:45 IST
Last Updated: June 12, 2004 16:13 IST

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today admitted for the first time that the Gujarat riots were one of the reasons for the Bharatiya Janata Party's defeat in the recent Lok Sabha election.

"It is very difficult to say what are all the reasons for the [BJP's] defeat in the elections... but one impact of the violence was we lost the elections," he told reporters on his arrival in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, for a week-long sojourn.

He was asked whether the BJP lost the elections due to the Gujarat riots.

Asked whether the BJP mishandled the Gujarat issue, Vajpayee said, "That was not wrong. It was an incident which could have further aggravated emotions."

He said the people's sentiments during the Gujarat riots were exploited by the Opposition. "They (Opposition) tried to reap political benefit out of it, but I don't blame them. This is politics and such things happen," he said.

Vajpayee said whatever happened in Gujarat was unfortunate and had been condemned. "I am confident the people of the country have decided that such a blood-bath will not be allowed to take place anywhere in future." He also said it was necessary to take steps to prevent such incidents from recurring.

Asked why he did not become the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, the former prime minister said it was good that L K Advani has taken up the responsibility. "I was the leader earlier, now it is Advani. We share our work and responsibilities."

To a question whether he would become prime minister again, he said, "I do not know what will happen then. Sonia Gandhi is not the prime minister, but the Congress chief. That has not affected her work in any way."

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Number of User Comments: 10

Sub: Gujarat riots a cause of defeat: Vajpayee

Mr.A B Vajpayee must take rest now. At this age, he is not in a position to analyze the things correctly. Gujarat riots is not ...

Posted by Atulyanath

Sub: Three Months too Late

I must admire Mr. Vajpayee for coming out openly to admit that Gujarat Riots and being silent about the riots was a political Cardinal Sin. ...

Posted by Jayakar Dalavai

Sub: The BJP Leadership Failed

The BJP lost as a consequence of the poor conduct of their whole strategy. The Gujarat riots were an accident caused by the Godhra attacks. ...

Posted by Mr Khandu Patel

Sub: The cause of BJP's victory and defeat

The cause of BJP's victory: Ayodhya RIOT The cause of BJP's defeat: Gujarat RIOT The BJP gained popularity by licking the wounds of communal dis-harmony ...

Posted by Rajesh

Sub: Gujarat not the reason for defeat for BJP.

Riots in Gujarat cannot be the reason for defeat for BJP. The main reason is "Overconfidence". If only 40% cast their vote who is responcible ...

Posted by Sanjay


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