Advani's dream of becoming Premier will turn 'sour'

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Raipur, Nov 16 (UNI) Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Information and Broadcasting and Congress leader Anand Sharma today claimed that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani's dream of becoming Premier would never be fulfilled.

''Mr Advani lacks vision to lead the country in the 21 century and he is not fit for the post of Prime Minister. Mr Advani's only aim is to wrest power through undemocratic and unconstitutional means,'' Mr Sharma told UNI here today.

The Congress leader slammed the BJP for blaming the Congress for terrorism and alleged that the BJP was trying to derive political mileage over militancy by linking it with religion.

''The BJP should recall what it did during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime by freeing terrorists in return for the release of passengers on a hijacked Indian aircraft (Indian Airlines Flight 814),'' he said.

The Minister alleged that the BJP initiated a perilous trend by linking extremism with religion just to wrest power and this would certainly ''boomerang'' in the general elections.

''Linking insurgency with either religion or politics will not be accepted by this country's denizens and if continued it will only weaken the nation,'' he said while adding that this would be the principal reason why the BJP's prime ministerial nominee would not be accepted by the majority.

Mr Sharma further claimed that during NDA rule, the Congress never attempted to politicise the terrorism issue even after the attack on Parliament.

Regarding the Congress poll prospects in Chhattisgarh, he said that an ''undercurrent'' existed in Congress favour in the entire state and particularly in the naxalism-affected belt of Bastar division.

''People of Chhattisgarh desire a change as they know all about misuse of central funds by the BJP regime and it will be the pivot for us to regain power,'' he claimed.

Narrating a long list of the United Progressive Alliance government's achievements under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's leadership, Mr Sharma said that over the next two years the Centre would inject more than Rs 2 lakh crore on education envisaging doubling the number of the Indian Institutes of Management, Indian Institutes of Technology, setting up 30 universities, 1,000 engineering colleges and over 6,000 international schools and colleges.

He appreciated the UPA government for its ''vision'' in inking the 123 Indo-US Nuclear Agreement that would enable the country to achieve the target of generating 25,000 megawatt nuclear power by 2020.

UNI MB AC 1736

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