Common NDA agenda to be out before polls: AdvaniApril 3rd, 2009 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would come out with a common agenda for governance ahead of the elections, the BJP’s prime ministerial aspirant L.K. Advani said here Friday, adding that his party’s manifesto was not binding on its allies.
Talking to reporters after the release of the BJP manifesto here, Advani said this was his party’s document and “I am not asking them (allies in the NDA) to accept it”.
“We will send it to them and ask which are the things they agree with and then jointly prepare the NDA’s agenda for good governance and vision for the country’s future,” he said.
Asked about the BJP allies’ objection to the party’s stance on the Ram temple in Ayodhya, he said they had problems with the government passing a law in parliament to construct a temple but not if the court decided the matter or community leaders arrived at a mutual settlement.
He said the Sachar Committee’s report on the socio-economic status of the Muslims was an “eye opener”. He said the Congress-led government had “all the while been blaming us… ultimately they had to tell the country that it was their failure” that the minorities were in such a plight.
Promising that his government would treat everyone equally, Advani said: “It is the duty of every government that every citizen gets justice without discrimination.”
Asked if he saw Varun Gandhi, the party’s candidate for Pilibhit, in the same category as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and if he was Hindutva’s new “poster boy”, he said: “It is the media which creates all these categories”.
In reply to another question, Advani said that “in a democracy, the prime minister’s is the most important post. My complaint with the present prime minister is that he has devalued the post.”
Advani had earlier called Prime Minister Manmohan Singh weak and said the real power was with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
He said the party’s manifesto was not a routine document and it envisaged an “ideal nation, which is the same as Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of Ram Rajya (the rule of lord Ram)”.
Advani said the country still had essentially a bipolar polity despite several regional players vying for the electoral pie and added that “no party can form a government without the support of the BJP or the Congress.”
According to him, of the two alliances, the NDA is stronger than the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Congress. He said the Left parties, the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the PMK had deserted the UPA one after the other.
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