BJP’s Prime ministerial candidate LK Advani has said that back-channels were open with parties like the AIADMK as he believes the BJP will emerge the single largest party and will need help from parties that are not part of the NDA now.
Advani was asked by CNN-IBN in an interview whether the back channels were open with BSP leader Mayawati or AIADMK chief Jayalalitha. “Yes, with Jayalalitha,” he said.
Replying to other questions, Advani said he knew all along that former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee was more acceptable than he ever was.
“I may also tell you ever since I and Atalji came close, apart from the fact that in age also he was my senior, in ability, he is far superior to me. And in acceptability to the people, which is a very important facet of democratic leadership,”
He added: “It is one thing which made me realise that I may have, because of this Ayodhya movement, suddenly developed a mass profile, became well-known but there is no comparison between me and Atalji and therefore without consulting anyone... not in the sangha, not in the BJP, named him our PM candidate in 1995.”
Advani also defended his criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a weak leader, saying that twin power centres affected governance.
Asked if this was the first PMO, in his opinion, which functioned without a political desk, he said: “Without authority, you have a situation in which the PM is in a office held by a person who owns office but no authority and the person who has authority has no accountability. This is not a democracy.
“I have known cases where the PM has proposed for some action but he is not able to implement it unless he gets clearance from Congress president and you can see it blatantly...”
On the government’s handling of Ajmal Amir Kasab, 26/11’s only surviving gunman, Advani said, “I think it is more of indecision and absence of one single person who takes decision at the helm of affairs...but for the first time in an attack like this a person has been caught alive.”