Reports of rift with Jaitley a media creation: Sudhanshu Mittal

March 21st, 2009 - 1:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party By Syed Zarir Hussain
Guwahati, March 21 (IANS) Sudhanshu Mittal, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) co-convenor for the poll campaign in the northeast, has said that reports of a rift between him and party general secretary Arun Jaitley were a “media creation”.

The businessman-turned-politician also claimed he was “instrumental” in forging a pre-poll tie between the BJP and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in Assam.

“I don’t think Arun Jaitley ever said there were differences… all these are creations of the media. Let this remain an internal matter of the BJP,” Mittal told IANS in an interview.

Mittal came into the media spotlight after BJP leader Arun Jaitley refused to attend several important party meetings in New Delhi, apparently unhappy over his appointment.

On his role in forging the BJP-AGP tie up, Mittal said: “It would be immodest to say that one single person was responsible for the seat sharing pact, but yes, I was instrumental in stitching the deal due to my personal rapport with the AGP leadership.”

Mittal is in Guwahati to chalk out the AGP-BJP’s strategy for next month’s parliamentary elections.

For the AGP, Mittal is the man of the hour and is held in very high esteem by the regional party leaders. Rejecting charges levelled by the ruling Congress party that money changed hands in striking the deal with the AGP, Mittal said the AGP-BJP tie up was above board.

“The allegations are not only baseless but clearly reflect the panic within the Congress following the AGP-BJP alliance, which is based on clear cut strategies to wipe out the Congress lock, stock and barrel,” Mittal said.

Reacting to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s admission that he had received funds from the tea industry for the elections, the BJP leader said it was nothing but corruption at the highest level.

“Political donations are acceptable but when a chief minister accepts money on behalf of the party then it is tantamount to corruption,” Mittal said.

Claiming that the AGP-BJP combine would be able to “whitewash” the Congress in the polls, Mittal regretted slanderous speeches and personal attacks by politicians in the lead up the polls.

“It is very sad to find politicians resorting to vitriolic attacks. All parties should show caution and restraint and instead resort to positive campaigning to garner votes,” he said.

Lok Sabha polls will be held in Assam on April 16 and 23.

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