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Cong can no longer treat South as its bastion: Advani


Monday 15 March 2004

Hubli, Mar 15 (PTI) Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani today asserted that judging from the response to his "Bharat Uday Yatra", Congress could no longer treat the southern states as its pocket borough and win votes on "its ability to exploit poverty and backwardness".

In a statement released at a news conference here, Advani expressed confidence that the "soaring popularity" of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee would also translate into an unequivocal mandate for the BJP and its allies in the southern states too. Maintaining that the Congress was virtually non-existent in the country, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, he said its claim to be a national party now rested on a "delusion" that large number of people in the southern states would vote for it as a "matter of habit". Advani said the Congress of today lacked purpose, direction, values and leadership and it was "inherently unsuited" to the task of providing India a wholesome environment for channelling its energies. "It is unsuited for governance". He said he would particularly like to stress the Congress’ lack of application to the serious water shortage and drought facing Karnataka. This was a problem that NDA government was determined to tackle on a war-footing. "We will ensure that Vajpayee’s second dream project of interlinking India’s rivers becomes a reality", he said. He said the message of national pride the Yatra sought to communicate had touched a chord in the people of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.Later addressing a meeting in Bijapore, renowned for its famous Golgumbaz tomb, Advani said this area of Karnataka, which is comparable to Punjab and also known as the land of five rivers, has been neglected by the state government. He said it only shows the "misgovernance" of the Congress government in the state "for which the farmers are suffering since there has been no rainfall here in the last four years". The BJP has since 1989 gone from strength to strength while Congress declined and may even reach double digit in the coming Lok Sabha elections, Advani added.

See online : Outlook India


Outlook India, PTI, March 15, 2004.

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