BJP calls upon partymen to get ready for mid-term polls

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Bhopal, Sep 21 (UNI) Sensing the possibility of a mid-term poll in the wake of the standoff between UPA and Left parties on the Indo-US nuclear deal, the BJP today called upon its partymen to ''re-dedicate'' themselves to wrest power from the ''divided'' ruling coalition at the Centre.

The call was made by BJP President Rajnath Singh in his opening remark to the three-day National Executive, which began here this morning, and echoed in the message of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who could not make it to the Executive on health grounds.

Mr Singh said the BJP-led NDA was the lone alternative to the ''badly divided'' UPA which had failed on all fronts. The government had not only compromised the national interest on the Indo-US nuclear deal but was indulging in vote-bank politics by stoking anti-Hindu sentiments through its insulting affidavit before the Supreme Court on the Ram Sethu issue.

Claiming that the UPA government had been reduced to 'minority' following differences with the Left parties on the 'N' deal and DMK on the Ram Sethu issue, he demanded that the government must prove its majority on the floor of Parliament.

''I urge the government to immediately convene a session of Parliament and seek a vote of confidence. If the government doesn't have courage to face Parliament, it should quit the office and approach people,'' Mr Singh said, adding the BJP ''is prepared to face the elections''.

The BJP President, who took the Congress and UPA coalition to task for being soft on terror and terrorists in the country, vowed to bring back a strong anti-terrorist law to curb the terrorist menace if they were voted to power.

Mr Vajpayee in his message gave broad indications that he was very much in the leadership race, saying the Executive was being held at a 'crucial time' when there was political ''instability and uncertainty'' about the longevity of the Congress-led UPA government. The country's strategic interest was sought to be ''compromised'' and a ''frustrated'' ruling coalition was hurting the emotions of people, he said.

Under these circumstances, the BJP's responsibility had increased and the country was looking at the party with furtive expectations.

''We have to live upto their aspirations and must take up challenges and responsibilities lying before the nation, he added.

Mr Vajpayee's statement was as a dampener for the supporters of senior leader L K Advani who were keen on declaring him as the party's leader for the mid-term elections.

BJP spokespersons Ravishankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar, however, avoided commenting on the issue by saying that Mr Vajpayee and Mr Advani were the top unquestionable leaders.

But with Mr Vajpayee asserting that he would rejoin the partymen soon have only made things uneasy for Mr Advani's supporters.

Taking strong exception to the blasphamous statement of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Lord Rama in which he had questioned the very existence of Rama and Rama Sethu, the BJP demanded sacking of all DMK members from the Union Council of Ministers if he failed to withdraw and apologise for hurting the sentiments of Hindus.

''Can he dare to do the same with the gods and icons of other religions,'' Mr Prasad asked.

Editors: Pick up suitably from earlier series.

UNI

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