M A I N   N E W S

BJP to fight next poll under second-rung
leader: Naqvi

Sitapur (Uttar Pradesh), April 30
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday said that it would contest the next general elections in 2009 under a second-rung leader.

Party Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters at Bilaspur village that though the BJP would continue to repose its trust and look for advice from its founding members like former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K.Advani, the 2009 Lok Sabha elections would see a leader of the younger generation taking charge of the party's fortunes at the hustings.

"The guidance and leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K.Advani have always been there and would continue and a leader from the second generation would lead the party in the next Lok Sabha elections," Naqvi said.

Naqvi was responding to a question on RSS chief K.S.Sudarshan's recent remarks that Vajpayee and Advani should pave the way for the second-generation leadership. Another party Vice-President Bal Apte was also present on the occasion.

Sudarshan in a television programme had stirred up a hornets nest by suggesting that Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani should make way for younger leaders, while the VHP had gone one step ahead attacking Vajpayee and persons close to him.

Asked who among the second rung leaders would lead the party, Naqvi said "We have a capable and acceptable second-rung leadership who have all been created and developed by Vajpayee and Advani. So there is no vacuum."

Asserting that both the Sangh parivar and BJP were "made for each other", he said "the next elections would be a struggle between the Nehru-Gandhi parivar and Sangh parivar, between dynastic politics and nationalism".

Naqvi also termed the ruling Samajwadi Party in UP as "confused" and said "on the one hand they accuse the Centre of tapping telephones and on the other, they support the UPA government. This reflects a hypocritic attitude which has eroded the party's credibility".

He dared the SP to withdraw support to the UPA "if it meant business".

Naqvi's statement comes in the wake of an unsavoury spat between the RSS and BJP recently. RSS Chief K S Sudershan had suggested a few days ago that both Vajpayee and Advani should make way for the younger leaders.

Vajpayee had endorsed the suggestion of Sudershan and said that the new leadership was ready to take up the party baton. ANI


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