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BJP not to apologise for controversial CD

Even after EC directed BJP to apologise, the party leaders asked why the party should apologise for a CD it had not released, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: May 09, 2007 00:38 IST

The BJP is in no mood to apologise as directed by the Election Commission to do so before May 15 for circulation of a controversial anti-Muslim CD during the UP polls.

Even as the EC held that the party cannot absolve itself of the responsibility of the actions of BJP functionaries, BJP leaders asked why the party should apologise for a CD it had not released.

BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "we have never justified its contents nor authorised its release. The CD was not authorised by the BJP."

BJP deputy leader in Lok Sabha VK Malhotra said, "when it is not our CD, why should we apologise."

BJP leaders said they stood by the arguments advanced by the party's general secretary, Arun Jaitely, that this CD was put in the media kit by someone along with other authorised CDs when it was released in Lucknow.

The BJP had already taken action one of its functionaries who is alleged to be involved in the distribution of the CD, which was not approved by the party nor shown to the EC.

The BJP has held that the party had got the EC to clear the CDs it had released for the UP elections. If the party had intended it for release, it would have got the approval of the EC.

BJP leaders also argued that if the party had to be blamed for action of one of its low-level functionaries, then Congress President Sonia Gandhi should be hauled up for a campaign during the Nagaland polls "in the name of Christ".

The BJP also rubbished Congress allegations that Gujarat senior police official DG Vanzara may be killed and a member of a minority community implicated in it as part of the Narendra Modi Government's efforts to polarise the atmosphere before the Assembly elections.

"This shows the level to which Congress can stoop," Malhotra said after a meeting of BJP parliamentary party chaired by senior party leader LK Advani.

He quoted Advani as telling the BJP MPs that the party's position in Uttar Pradesh has gradually improved from what had been projected in the initial phases of Assembly polls and hoped that the result will be "quite good".

The BJP parliamentary party took execption to BJP not being invited by HRD Minister Arjun Singh to attend the function to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1857 uprising, he said.

Malhotra said, "the Congress has always insulted patriots like Chandrasekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh and for that party history starts with Jawaharlal Nehru and ends with Rahul Gandhi."