Tuesday, May 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Khurana softens stand
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, May 1 — Senior BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana today decided not to raise contentious issues like the Sankhya Vahini, the lifting of import restrictions and the hike in prices of PDS in Parliament after a meeting with the Prime Minister.

Announcing his decision at a press conference here today, Mr Khurana said: “As a disciplined soldier of the party, I have accepted the advice given by the Prime Minister. Accordingly, I have decided not to raise these issues in the Lok Sabha.

The former Parliamentary Affairs Minister had raised these issues in a letter he wrote to the Prime Minister on April 21 and after it came out in the open, the party Chief Mr Kushabhau Thakre removed him as the Vice President of the party on Friday

Mr Khurana said he had a 75-minute meeting with the Prime Minister last night and Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee advised him that in “principle all such issues should be discussed within the party’’.

“He has now assured me that in accordance with this principle, these issues will be discussed at the party fora’’, Mr Khurana said in a statement.

Mr Khurana said he was forced to raise these issues in the letter after he failed to get an appointment with the Prime Minister between April 1 and April 16.

The BJP leader said though he had made mention of these issues at the BJP parliamentary party meeting and also at the national executive, there was no discussion on them. However, he clarified that he was never against the government but only wanted a discussion which the Prime Minister had now assured him of.

Mr Khurana said he had planned to give a notice to the Speaker to raise these issues under Rule 193 tomorrow but said he would not do so now. The Lok Sabha is scheduled to discuss the Finance Bill this week and the Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, is expected to reply by May 4.

Apparently, Mr Khurana back tracked having realised that the support he was expecting from the anti-reforms group in the BJP and the RSS did not come about.

In fact, another BJP leader K. Jana Krishnamurty went on record saying Mr Khurana did not fit into the party’s scheme of things.

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