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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Jul 2014

Advani will continue to lead party: Venkaiah Naidu

PTI  Hyderabad, August 30, 2009
First Published: 16:59 IST(30/8/2009) | Last Updated: 17:13 IST(30/8/2009)

Terming as "baseless" reports of leadership change in BJP, senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said LK Advani would continue to lead the party.

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"I can assure you that all this speculation that has taken place in the media, about Advani is going to retire, Advani cornered, how can anyone corner Advani. Does anyone have the capacity?

"Advaniji is the leader. He will continue to lead the party. Organisational elections are due in the party. There is an elected president. There is no vacancy. In due course of time, whatever needs to be done, it will be done," Naidu told reporters in Hyderabad.

Asserting that there "is no proposal to change anybody", he said "we are surprised by these reports about succession plan, stepping down, appointment of new president, new leader, RSS dictation-- all these things... Are totally baseless. They are speculative and imaginative".

Naidu, who is considered close to Advani, said he was not in the race for any post.

"There is no vacancy for the leadership positions now. There are procedures and the organisational election process is on. Personally, I am not after any post. I am not in any race," he said.

"Who will lead in 2014 elections, will be decided in due course of time. There is enough time. Please stop the speculation and focus on the burning issues of the people," he said.

Lashing out at Congress and other parties for criticising Advani over the 'cash for vote' scam, Naidu asked the Central Government to order a judicial inquiry into the matter to bring out the truth.

"We have seen how the UPA obtained majority during the vote of confidence. Why the Central Government did not try to ascertain the truth about the origin of money. The MPs had done a service by exposing the cash bundles," he said.

"Are they ready for a comprehensive investigation at least now? The government should order a judicial probe to unearth the truth," he said.

On the allegations against Advani over Kandahar episode, he said certain painful decisions had to be taken as the lives of innocent passengers were at risk.

Similar decisions were taken in the Rubina Sayeed episode and also in Andhra Pradesh when the Naxalites posed a problem, the BJP leader said.

Congress and other party leaders, instead of talking about people's problems like price rise and growing unemployment, terror activities, rake up a non-issue like Kandahar episode to criticise the BJP, he said.

Naidu would be meeting former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje who has been asked by the party leadership to quit the post of legislature party leader in Rajasthan Assembly.


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