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ELECTIONS 2004

Time for BJP to beat off threats from Left, Right

Rajiv DESHPANDE

Monday 31 May 2004, by DESHPANDE*Rajiv

NEW DELHI : According to Vajpayee’s aides, the former PM remains convinced that BJP’s survival hinges on it sticking to the more inclusive vision that he has tried to articulate.

As an aide put it, the party has to beat off two threats: one from the right and the other from the left.

While BJP has to fend off sniping by extremist outfits like VHP, it also has to fight back attempts to brand the party as communal by the Left and other centrist organisations, including Congress.

The need to overhaul the party at the states as well as at centre has figured in discussions that Vajpayee has had with senior leaders. It is understood that ex-DPM L K Advani and Vajpayee have also had one-to-one discussions in the past few days.

One of the focus areas is expected to be Bihar where Assembly elections are due early next year. The incipient threat of a Congress revival in north India is not being taken lightly by the BJP big two.

It is expected the duo will work closely in reworking the script for BJP and NDA. It is acknowledged that the perception that not all was well between the two leaders has hurt the BJP.

It has also led to a certain sluggishness in the partys organisational machinery with people wondering if an initiative would please both leaders.

See online : The Times of India

P.S.

in The Times of India, Monday, May 31, 2004.

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