Badal hails Advani as BJP's prime ministerial candidate

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Chandigarh, Dec 11 (UNI) Hailing the elevation of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani as the BJP candidate for the post of the Prime Minister, Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Parkash Singh Badal described it "as a very significant and positive development for the country." " I am very happy with this development, perhaps more happy than the BJP", he said while talking to mediapersons here today.

Mr Advani, as a close confidant of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for many years, was fully conversant with the problems of the common people of the country and had always displayed singular commitment to finding immediate as well as long-lasting solutions for the various problems facing the country,he added.

Mr Badal described him as an able, highly competent administrator and a far-sighted leader and said that Mr Advani had always made an unmatched contribution to the emergence of opposition unity in the critical days of the Congress misrule.

When asked to comment on Mr Advani's secular credentials, the Chief Minister quipped, " You cannot take the support of the public if you only favour one particular religion and the BJP leader has the support of all".

The Chief Minister recalled his strong and long standing personal bonds with Mr. Advani since the days of the ''infamous Emergency''.

Mr Badal said that Mr Advani also had strong cultural bonds with the Punjabi and the Sikh cultures and had unflinching faith in the ideals of the great gurus.

He said that the BJP's new Prime Ministerial candidate had "played an admirable role as Deputy Prime Minister, helping us to secure for Punjab the prestigious Bathinda Refinery.

Mr Advani had also stood by the Akali-BJP Government in Punjab for getting remunerative MSP for farmers' produce during the days of the NDA Government," Mr Badal said while extending his good wishes to the BJP leader.

UNI

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