M A I N   N E W S

What was the reason for Gujarat debacle if not riots: Vajpayee
Kuldeep Chauhan

Kulu, June 19
Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee today again made a pointed remark on Gujarat, saying the “election results for the party in Gujarat should have been as good as those in Rajasthan and Madya Pradesh”.

Talking to reporters at Bhuntar airport here today before leaving for New Delhi after a weeklong holiday at Prini (Manali), Mr Vajpayee avoided any comment on Modi’s removal. However, he said, his stand was “no different from that of the BJP President Mr Venkaiah Nadu” on the issue.

But then he re-asserted his stand saying that if the riots in Gujarat was not a reason for the debacle then the ‘party should have done better in Gujarat like it did in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh”.

This statement of Mr Vajpayee reinforced his stand on Gujarat, that the Gujarat riots were one of the major reasons for the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections.

The former Prime Minister made no direct reference to the Modi removal issue today despite repeated media queries.

After taking ‘individual’ and ‘collective responsibility’ for the defeat Mr. Vajpayee had said that he would do penance, hinting at correcting the past by removing Mr Modi as Gujarat chief minister. Mr Vajpayee had been making references to Gujarat ever since he came for a weeklong holiday at Manali on June 12.

Except for giving an interview to Zee News, Mr Vajpayee did not meet the Press at his Prini residence. Mr Vajpayee made these statements at the BJP state executive meeting at Naggar and at the airport today.

RSS leader Manohar Lal, an emissary of the Sangh Parivar, had met Mr Vajpayee at his Prini residence last week soon after Mr Vajpayee hinted at the removal of Mr Modi. Both discussed the issue and as a result, the RSS softened its stand.

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