Advani sting: People upset with BJP too (Lead)

May 31st, 2012 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) In remarks that are bound to raise some eyebrows, former BJP president L.K. Advani said Thursday that people were not happy with the UPA government but they were upset with his party too.

Reiterating that the Bharatiya Janata Party needs to introspect, Advani said in his blog that reporters betrayed “public opinion correctly” when they wrote that the BJP-led coalition was not rising to the occasion nationwide.

“I had said at the core group meeting that if people are today angry with the UPA government, they are also disappointed with us,” Advani said. “The situation, I said, calls for introspection.”

On a day when the BJP joined hands with other opposition parties in an all-India shutdown against fuel price hike, Advani noted that the mood in the country’s main opposition party these days was not upbeat.

He said when journalists attack the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government for a string of scams, they also regret that the BJP-led NDA was not playing its role.

“I, as a former pressman, feel they are reflecting public opinion correctly.”

Advani mentioned in particular the BJP debacle in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections and the way some BJP leaders had welcomed into its fold some BSP ministers who had been sacked for corruption.

Also, “the party’s handling of Jharkhand and Karnataka - all these events have undermined the party’s campaign against corruption”.

His reference was to the defeat of the BJP candidate in Rajya Sabha election in Jharkhand and the continuing turmoil in the party in Karnataka since B.S. Yeddyurappa stepped down as chief minister.

Advani’s comments come soon after he kept away from the public rally at the end of the BJP national executive meeting in Mumbai, claiming he had other engagements.

The BJP then refuted media speculation that Advani was unhappy that party president Nitin Gadkari had got another term and that he had not been portrayed as the prime ministerial candidate.

Advani added that the BJP rule in many states and the “excellent” leadership provided in parliament by Sushma Swaraj as well as Arun Jaitley “is no compensation for the lapses committed”.

One of the founders of BJP’s predecessor Bharatiya Jana Sangh and among India’s better known parliamentarians, Advani led the party from strength to strength in the 1980s and 90s.

But it was his long-time companion Atal Bihari Vajpayee who became prime minister when the BJP took power in 1996 briefly and again from 1998 until 2004.

Advani was then the home minister and later deputy prime minister. The BJP portrayed him as prime ministerial candidate vis-a-vis Manmohan Singh in 2009 but lost the Lok Sabha battle.

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