Debating India


Road to Delhi is via Lucknow: Vajpayee

Monday 25 December 2006, by VYAS*Neena

Stresses importance of U.P. elections

It is "luck now" that the BJP needs Asks party workers to end factionalism

LUCKNOW: The former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on Sunday stressed the importance of the coming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh for the Bharatiya Janata Party. "We all know that the road to Delhi is via Lucknow. ... We have to traverse that path," he told the National Council session here.

Party president Rajnath Singh would help the party down that road with his organisational and administrative skills and experience. The party should be "ready to take up the challenge."

Punning on the city’s name, he said it was "luck now" that the party needed. It had to get over its sorry electoral record of the last few years to take back the position it enjoyed earlier.

No ties with SP

Mr. Vajpayee scotched speculation that the party’s political strategy was tied to that of the Samajwadi Party. Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had extended his hospitality to many party leaders. The BJP was grateful for that.

However, he could not forget the `killings’ of his party workers, presumably at the hands of the SP. He recalled the beheading of one worker, and said many more were murdered.

He wanted all BJP workers to "end factionalism," and "fight shoulder to shoulder" to take up the electoral and political challenge to "change the [political] map" of the country. "There are new possibilities ahead."

Welfare of the people

At the same time, he wanted the party not to fight just for power or for votes, but for the "welfare of the people" to usher in future prosperity. He used the metaphor of the now dirty and sad-looking Gomti river flowing through the city to underline the plight of Uttar Pradesh’s people and the state of politics here. "We have to change this city, this State, and its environment, clean the Gomti."

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani said the party should deny "tickets" to aspiring candidates with even the remotest criminal background.

See online : The Hindu

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