Advani is our candidate for PM, BJP clarifies

January 7th, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) A day after former vice president and senior party leader Bhairon Singh Shekhawat threw his hat in the electoral ring, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) clarified Wednesday that L.K. Advani was its “unanimous” prime ministerial candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. In a hurriedly convened press conference, party president Rajnath Singh said: “Advani is the unanimous choice (for the post) of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).”

The clarification came a day after Shekhawat created a flutter when he stated in Jaipur Tuesday that he had no information about the BJP projecting Advani as the prime ministerial candidate. “The prime minister is picked by elected representatives of people,” he said.

He added that he would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from his home state of Rajasthan “if people want me to and if health permits”.

Rajnath Singh indicated that Shekhawat could not contest the elections. “It has been a custom in Indian politics that any person who has earlier held a higher constitutional post does not contest any elections. Shekhawat has already been the vice president and has also contested the election for the president.”

“It will be like taking a bath near a well after having a holy dip in the sacred Ganga river if he does so,” he said when asked about Shekhawat contesting the elections.

However, Rajnath Singh parried a question on whether Shekhawat would be given a party ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections, likely to be held in the next three to four months.

“He is like our guardian and I will meet him soon,” he said.

The BJP also termed the efforts made by the Congress-led government at the centre to check terrorism as ineffective.

“It is a diplomatic failure of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government in convincing the world community to put effective pressure on Pakistan to stop terror activities from its territory. Whatever action has been taken till now is due to the pressure and anger of the common people,” he claimed.

However, he added that the BJP would support any kind of military action against Pakistan.

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