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Rajnath rejects strained relationship with Advani, RSS

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, July 8 (UNI) BJP president Rajnath Singh today dismissed speculation of his ''strained'' relationship with senior party leader L K Advani, and also refuted reports that the RSS leadership was cut up with the BJP for airing voices in different tones.

Mr Singh, who is completing his six months tenure as party president, also went emotional in an interview with a television channel when he had to explain his relationship with Mr Advani.

''I can swear on anyone that Mr Advani had never convened any meeting without me,'' he said, denying the allegations that the Leader of Opposition in Parliament was holding party meetings in his absence after knowing his tour programmes.

He said Mr Advani was ''very very very happy'' about his performance in his office, and asserted that he had exercised his authority fully as the BJP president.

''All my party seniors and colleagues respect me. Definitely I exercise my authority. No question about it,'' BJP president told CNN-IBN news channel.

Mr Singh also denied the reports that he was forced to take part in Advani's Bharat Suraksha Yatra.

''It is not so, Mr Advani had discussed the issue with me a fortnight ahead of the announcement of the yatra,'' he said.

''We decided that we should begin the yatra at any point of time ... I would like to say with full conviction that Advaniji consulted me. He had asked that if it would be possible for me to lead one yatra and I consented to his decision.'' The BJP President also refuted reports that at the recent meeting held at former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee's residence, RSS general secretary Mohan Bhagwat had admonished the BJP for speaking in multiple voices.

''This was not true,'' Mr Singh said, adding all party decisions were taken on the basis of consensus and teamwork and not through individualistic decisions.

About the BJP going through a bad patch where its leaders were messed up with scandals, he said, ''I don't think the party has been damaged in the last six months.'' UNI MCN VJ RP DS1115

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