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Advani says he is PM candidate

india Updated: Dec 11, 2006 16:53 IST
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It is a year since he quit as the BJP president but leader of the opposition L.K. Advani says he is the prime minister-in-waiting.

In an interview to news channel CNN-IBN, Advani said, "If you look at the British system, it is always the leader of the opposition who is the prime minister-in-waiting."

However, Advani said former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee would not name him as the prime ministerial candidate. "While I had given his name for prime ministership in the first place, I don't expect him to return that favour to me," said Advani.

That was in 1995. A year later, Vajpayee had become the prime minister of a 13-day government. Asked if his staking the claim to be BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in the Lok Sabha polls — scheduled for 2009 — did not compromise BJP president Rajnath Singh's position, Advani said, "The party will decide what to do with Rajnath Singh."

Advani also expressed his dismay at his present position within the BJP. “Earlier as leader of opposition, I also took great interest in organisational matters. I have stopped doing that now. "

Having remained silent since relinquishing his position as BJP chief, Advani’s remarks are seen as an expression of his displeasure at the way things are being run in the party.

Advani made it clear that all the controversies of the past, from the Jinnah fiasco to his open spat with the RSS, were not
going to halt his political progress.

Referring to his Pakistan trip in which he praised M.A. Jinnah, Advani said, "My trip helped people get rid of the perception of that here was a man, a party which was perceived to be anti-Islam... that it was wrong perception."