Narasimha Rao’s views matched BJP’s, says Advani

March 24th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) Late Congress prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao held many views that were “congruent to those of the BJP”, Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani has said in his autobiography. In the just released “My Country, My Life”, Advani has heaped praise on Rao, during whose regime the Babri Masjid was demolished in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh triggering the worst communal rioting in five decades.

“Firstly I admired Rao’s erudition. He combined a scholarly understanding of national and international affairs with rich political and administrative experience,” says Advani in the book.

“Secondly, in my initial meetings with him, I found that his views on several critical policy issues to be congruent to those of the BJP.”

When he was prime minister from 1991 to 1996, Narasimha Rao received trenchant criticism from a section of the Congress and also the Left parties for not doing enough to prevent the demolition of the Babri mosque.

Advani found in Rao a friend on issues of economic liberalisation.

He writes in his book: “For example, in economic policy, Rao brought about a radical shift by introducing a series of delicensing and decontrol measures to herald a new era of reforms.

“The BJP and, previously, the Jana Sangh had always demanded the dismantling of the license-permit quota raj since it was both corruption-breeding and growth-hindering.”

Advani’s admiration for Rao, however, did not last all through the five years he ruled India.

“My personal and political relations with Rao underwent a dramatic change - from friendly to frosty - during his five years at the helm of government,” he says.

“My disillusionment with Rao started with the disclosures relating to a stock market scandal in the middle of 1992,” the BJP leader adds.

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