Onboard Special Aircraft, Apr.24 (ANI): Senior BHaratiya Janata Party leader and the opposition National Democratic Alliance's (NDA's) Prime Minister-in-Waiting L.K. Advani has rubbished the prediction of bookies of a UPA come back and is also undaunted about losing time-tested ally-Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Orissa.
Advani takes pride in new alliances and sees possibilities in post poll alliances. He is hell bent on bringing Indian money parked in foreign banks back home and is not keen on intiating further talks with Pakistan until the terror infrastructure in that country is dismantled.
He also makes no bones about scrapping the joint anti-terror mechanism if voted to power, but admits that his party wants to have good relations with the US and is in no mood to reverse nuke deal. If voted to power within first 100 days, Advani promises to revive the buoyancy that the country has lost under the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.
Very few can argue on this point that this is Advani's last chance to clinch the top seat of power and NDA's prime minister in waiting is having a marathon jet setting campaign amid rising mercury, but his daughter Pratibha makes sure that before every stop over, dada (Advani) gets a puff of refreshing Shyam Pushp and a dose of rose milk to keep the patriarch going.
BJP PM in waiting spoke exclusively to ANI in his special aircraft enroute to BJP's cow belt bastion Khajurahoo in Madhya Pradesh. Here are Excerpts.
Q: The bookies and Pollsters are predicting and betting on UPA's comeback in the Lok Sabha elections how do you read this?
Advani replies: These are not very accurate forecasts and sometimes they are correct and most of the time they are wrong. I donot take cognizance, The problem for my party has arisen when general atmosphere make every worker believes that we are going to win, Infact I have often said that the reason we lost elections in 2004 was the overconfidence in our camp that we are going to win.
Q: Pollsters are also saying that that this time BJP may get more seats than Congress individually but there will be difficulty in finding allies, infact there are reports that Nitish Kumar is also planning to desert NDA?
Advani replies: I have been in touch with every one of my present allies and I don't see an Iota of truth in these reports.
Q: Are you in talks with some parties for post poll alliance, you have said in an interview that you are in talks with AIDMK?
Advani replies: "I never said that I am in talks. I say I see a clear possibility of several parties taking the decision after the elections, one can see it. They keep on indicating their minds informally here and there but the moment. I say I am in talks with whom. there is no question. After all ours is the only alliance which after the announcement of election schedule... We have had a new alliance partner in Haryana, in U P (Uttar Pradesh) and above all in Assam, in Darjeeling, so it is a party, which has been expanding. We have lost an alliance partner in Orissa, I am conscious of that."
Q: This time in your campaigns you are silent on Ram Mandir issue, has the issue lost its charm?
Advani replies: Nothing loses its charm, If something is right is right, It is not only my party which has spoken about the national desire that there should be a Ram temple at Ayodhya ,the birth place of Ram but even a party like AIDMK in its manifesto has said that we would like to see this issue to be sorted out by negotiations between two communities and if that doesn't yield results we would like the apex court of the country to take a decision.
Q: Congress says that why NDA has not addressed the issue of getting back Indian Money parked in Foreign Banks during its regime and they alsoblame that the allegations and figures given by the BJP on the issue are wrong?
Advani replies: Congress people have said that the figures given by BJP pertaining to the Indian money in foreign banks are bogus, I have not given the figures, there are scholars who have been studying this matter over period of time , there assessment may be wrong ,all that I have said and the task force which I have formed have said that the dimension of this loot from India can be disputed but the fact of the loot is Undisputed. Even suppose it is not billions, trillions it is only 10 millions, why should we not get back that money.
Q: What difference you can bring to this country if voted to power?
Advani replies: In the last 5 years all that we have seen is the Communist party and the Congress quarrelling each other for .all that we have seen is inflation uncontrolled, price of essential commodities absolutely gone haywire. All that we have seen is tens of thousands of farmers community suicide and therefore instead of the optimism and buoyancy that was there earlier it is today frustration and despondence hundred days programme should be such that it recreates that buoyancy and conveys a firm message to the people that now we have a government which is determined to set right things and which is determined to deliver.
Q: Are you in favor of carrying on peace talks with Pakistan?
Advani replies: We are not in favour. We have already said it, there is no point in a peace process till today. The minimum that has to be done is that the promise given by general Musharraf-I will not allow Pakistan to be used for terrorism against India. That has natural corollary, the infrastructure for terrorism built up in Pakistan must be dismantled. Only then talks can start. So far as terrorism is concerned, zero compromise.We would like to have good relations with Pakistan but not at the cost of country's security.
Q: Are you going to scrap Joint Anti terror mechanism if you come to power?
Advani replies: I think it is meaningless, it has served no purpose in the past three-four years. The earlier it is scrapped, the better."
Q: Sir according to a english daily you have said that you are not going to reverse the Indo US nuclear deal , if you have to accept the deal in current form then why you opposed it?
Advani replies: Question was a leading question, are you going to scrap it? Are you going to re-negotiate it? I said these things can be decided only when we come to power. I also said that any government is a continuity, we may not have agreed for certain things. We were not in an agreement with the Shimla agreement, which Indira Gandhi (former Indian Prime Minister, signed) but we could not scrap it.
Whatever has to be done, has to be done keeping in mind two things-first we would like to have excellent relations between the two major democracies of the world. One India-the largest, one America-the strongest. Secondly as I said a government is always in continuity and that has to be borne in mind, one government signs an agreement, a subsequent government cannot scrap it. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)