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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

BJP is not sidelining senior leaders: Venkaiah Naidu

PTI  Chennai, March 23, 2014
First Published: 14:37 IST(23/3/2014) | Last Updated: 14:42 IST(23/3/2014)

With veteran party leaders unhappy over denial of ticket for Lok Sabha polls, BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday stressed there were no differences in the party and no question of sidelining any senior leader.

"There are no differences within the BJP. Party is united. There is no question of sidelining anybody. How can anybody think of sidelining a person like Advani, who is towering personality in Indian politics. He will continue to guide us.

Party needs him and country needs him... Advaniji has given a choice. He has chosen Gandhiagar," he told reporters in Chennai.

As the party has good prospects of winning the elections, there are a lot of expectations. "If there is one seat and five candidates, we can select only one candidate. So, there will be some disappointment locally," Naidu said.

Asked about Jaswant Singh's decision to contest idenpendently from Barmer, Naidu said, "he did not get a ticket and because of that anger he might have said something.

I wish Jaswantji does not do anything like that. Party has always respected him. Party sent him to Rajya Sabha. Party has made him finance minister. Party has made him external affairs minister. So, there is no question of sidelining him."

"I respect Jaswant Singh. I do not want to join issue with him. And secondly, if somebody does not get a ticket and makes such a statement, it is understandable."

Naidu dismissed suggestions that BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was intervening in selecting candidates for the party.

"It is the party, which selects candidates not any individual... he (Modi) rarely intervenes (in selecting the candidates)... you may have a view but at the end of the day everybody must abide by the decision of the party. Once the party takes the decision, you must respect it," the former BJP president said.

As for Murli Manohar Joshi, who did not get to contest from Varanasi, Naidu said, "When the party decides something, everybody has to accept it. So, where is the question of sidelining. Joshi is going to be victorious from Kanpur."

Asked if the BJP would seek the support of AIADMK in Tamil Nadu after the elections, Naidu said, "We are getting majority. We do not need any support from anybody. If somebody wants to support, that is a different matter. BJP and its allies are going to win the elections comfortably."

BJP would also seek a review of the Congress-led UPA's Aadhar card scheme, if it formed the next government at the Centre.

"We have to review because there are security concerns. Having a Aadhar card makes someone eligible for Indian citizenship. It is dangerous. For citizenship, we have to go through so many procedures. Lots of people are infiltrating from Bangladesh and from other countries. We have to be careful. Even Parliament has not discussed the Aadhar card so far and this government is going ahead spending crores of rupees."


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