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Is Advani out of the race for PM's post? Not yet!

Last updated on: October 10, 2011 19:31 IST

Image: LK Advani

Senior leader L K Advani on Monday kept alive the suspense over his intentions of becoming the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate in the next elections, saying a decision will be taken by the party when the time comes.

"Who will become the prime minister will be decided by the party when the elections come. This decision is not being taken now. There are three years to go for the elections. It is another matter that this government is working in a manner that it appears it may fall anytime," Advani said.

The senior leader was interacting with the media a day before he begins his Jan Chetna Yatra from Sitabdiara in Bihar for clean politics and good governance and against corruption.


'We do not have a dearth of leaders'

"The decision as to who will be the leader will taken by the party. We do not have a dearth of leaders," Advani said.

Though Advani has not clearly said that he is in the race for PM's post, by not ruling out that his yatra could be aimed at keeping him in the fray, he has kept the issue alive.

His statement in Nagpur recently -- soon after meeting Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat- -- had been an indication that he is not in the race anymore. He had said, "What the RSS, Jan Sangh, BJP, fellow party workers and the country have given me is much more than the prime minister's post".


Is Advani out of the race for PM's post? Not yet!

Advani's decision to undertake this yatra has reportedly antagonised some of his senior party colleagues who were eyeing the PM post. Most prominent among them is Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Advani plans to focus on the issues of black money, Lokpal, judicial accountability and electoral reforms during the yatra.

Advani refuted reports in some sections of the media that he had talked to Modi on Sunday and sorted out their differences.


'I have not talked to Modi'

"The party has to deal with a lot of questions and it deals with them. I was surprised myself (to hear this report). I have not talked to Modi in the last two-three days and people are writing all kinds of things. I would request the media to cross-check facts before writing," he said.

Advani maintained that he did talk to Modi some days back and the latter had told him he would be there to welcome the yatra when it enters Gujarat.

The 83-year old leader will start his yatra on Tuesday from Jayprakash Narayan's birthplace. He said during the yatra he will emphasise on the issue of black money stashed by Indians abroad and the need to bring it back to the country.


'I salute civil society members'

"I came to know that the government has got the names of those Indians who have kept their money in tax havens abroad. Political parties should create pressure on the government to reveal these names. The government should also come out with a White Paper on the issue," Advani said.

He lauded the civil society for raising the issue of corruption and black money and starting a debate around it.

"I salute civil society members for raising the issue of black money and corruption. They have spread awareness about these issues. My aim is to spread it further," Advani said, adding that the civil society can perform a role only up to a point.

Beyond it, the political parties have to take over, Advani said.

"The health of democracy depends very much on the political parties, their health and their clean politics. My emphasis will be to spread awareness about good governance and clean politics," he said.

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