Saturday, December 16, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BJP gets tough with allies 
Cautions against crossing limits
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Dec 15 — In a significant development, the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to act tough abandoning its soft and defensive approach which kept its allies in good humour till now.

In a loud and clear message, the BJP today asked its allies to respect its sentiments and not to cross limits.

While adopting a tough posture towards some of its allies, the BJP has also made it clear that it is not going to be any more apologetic about issues which have been part of its core agenda all these years and were shelved at the time of concluding the National Agenda for Governance (NAG).

Addressing newspersons, Prof Vijay Kumar Malhotra said some issues had been given up while concluding the National Agenda for Governance. “If nothing is said in favour of these issues, then nothing should be said against them also”, he said in an apparent reference to some of the comments made by the Trinamool Congress leaders after the voting in the Lok Sabha yesterday.

At the same time, the Union Home Minister L.K. Advani told reporters informally at a lunch hosted by the Rural Development Minister, Mr M. Venkiah Naidu, that “ideology is not required for running a government. And that is why, we had formed the NAG leaving certain issues out of it but that does not mean that I have to be apologetic about my ideology”.

Giving a piece of advice to the allies, Prof Malhotra said it would be better if the NDA constituents expressed their views in the NDA meeting only.

It is very clear now that the BJP leadership, including the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, would not succumb to pressure from its allies but would also continue to follow its original line on Ayodhya.

The NDA allies, like the Trinamool Congress and to some extent the Telugu Desam Party, would not be able to extract favours from the government.

The BJP leadership, after serious consultations with the RSS, has decided to act tough with the allies knowing fully well their fear for another mid-term poll.

From here on, the BJP would not only be tough towards its allies but would also be aggressive towards the Opposition parties.

Mr Advani gave a clear indication of the ensuing strategy when he said that what would happen if we start raising the issue of 1984 Sikh massacre in Delhi every year on November 1 like the Congress has been doing it on December 6.

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