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Either me or Advani will remain in BJP : Khurana

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New Delhi, Apr 17 (UNI) Former Delhi Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana today stepped up his offensive against senior party leader L K Advani, saying he himself would snap all his ties with the BJP if the former Deputy Prime Minister was not sacked from the party for making ''irresponsible statements.'' Talking to UNI, Mr Khurana, who was suspended from the party for his outbursts against senior party leaders and the decision to join expelled party leader Uma Bharti, ridiculed Mr Advani's statement that he was against the exchange of terrorists in return for the release of passengers of the Indian Airlines Plane IC-814, which was taken hostage in 1999.

''If it was so why he had not resigned at that time,'' Mr Khurana said, adding, ''Mr Advani as Home Minister of the country should have stepped down to register his protest against the decision.'' ''Mr Advani was making such a statement only a week after seeing the reaction of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to it,'' he said.

Mr Khurana said the former party president had damaged the party and the Sangh Parivar by his ''irresponsible statements'' like this and his controversial outburst on Jinnah during his Pakistan visit.

''His (Mr Advani's) whole efforts are directed towards projecting himself as a hero and Mr Vajpayee a zero, so that the party could project him as the prime ministerial candidate,'' he alleged.

''Otherwise he would have never said in an interview that he was aspiring to become the prime minister,'' Mr Khurana added.

He said Mr Advani's statement on Jinnah was also aimed at changing his image from a ''hardcore Hindu to a secular leader.'' Describing Mr Advani's Bharat Suraksha Yatra as ''mere drama'', the former Delhi Chief Minister said the veteran BJP leader had no concern for country's security.

''If it was the case, he would have immediately resigned after the Cabinet took the decision to send the then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, along with the three terrorists in return for the passengers of the IC-814, to Kandahar,'' he pointed out.

The former Rajasthan Governor said there has been a sea change in Mr Advani from what he used to be before 1998 and therefore, there was no point in continuing in the BJP.

He said he would announce a formal decision in this regard in a day or two.

Recalling how he was made to resign from the Council of Ministers in 1999 when he had criticised Swadeshi Jagran Manch leader Dattopant Thengadi, he said, similarly Mr Advani should be asked by the party leadership to resign.

Mr Khurana alleged that his January 8, 1999 resignation was accepted by Mr Vajpayee only on January 30 at the insistence of Mr Advani.

''But Mr Advani was not penalised for any of his irresponsible statements,'' he said.

Mr Khurana said party General Secretary Pramod Mahajan, in an interview to a private channel, had admitted that more than 90 per cent of the party leaders were opposed to Mr Advani's remarks on Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

He said BJP had lost its character and was now being run as a private limited company. ''I have lost all charm for the party unless it changes its character and falls back on its ideology,'' he added.

UNI KAS YA RS1426

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