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BJP’s cautious reaction

Sunday 11 March 2007, by VYAS*Neena

`Fernandes pushing for a break with BJP’

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday reacted cautiously to the statement attributed to Janata Dal (U) leader George Fernandes that the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had asked him to keep his hands off the Bofors file.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Patna that he had neither seen the statement nor heard Mr. Fernandes.

It must not be forgotten that the Bofors accused were chargesheeted during the Vajpayee Government’s tenure, he added.

However, talking privately to The Hindu some BJP leaders have acknowledged that Mr. Fernandes’ attack on Mr. Vajpayee could lead to a complete breakdown of the relationship between the BJP and Mr. Fernandes.

It seems that efforts are being made to persuade Mr. Vajpayee to come out with a rejoinder.

"Own problems"

It is pointed out that the attack by Mr. Fernandes was a result of his own problems within the JD (U) and his efforts to float a new party under the old name Samata.

The BJP believes Mr. Fernandes wants to do political business with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and is pushing for a break with the BJP.

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