BJP best leader of coalitions: PM

Updated on Apr 25, 2004 07:25 PM IST

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said that the BJP has "proved" that it is the only national party that can run a coalition government.

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PTI | ByPiyush Srivastava, Mumbai

Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee said on Friday that the BJP has "proved" that it is the only party that can run a coalition. Speaking at a huge rally in Mumbai, Vajpayee said: "I do not know what will happen at the end of the election, who will win or who will lose and who will form the government. But we have proved that only we can run a coalition."

Sharing the stage with the Prime Minister in Shivaji Park,  Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said: "The Congress party gives various names to various parties. But I call the Congress a party of eunuchs." He promised full support to Vajpayee in the future.

Vajpayee attacked the Congress for entering into "opportunistic" alliances and raised the issue of Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin again.

The Congress alliances with the DMK and the NCP were not based on trust, the Prime Minister said, calling the main opposition party "power-hungry". He also wondered whether NCP chief Sharad Pawar had given up the issue of Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin, which had caused the split in the Congress in 1999.

In his 30-minute speech, Vajpayee said, "The country wants to know the stand of all the political parties on her foreign origin. We have not debated this issue enough."

Earlier, at Jalna, the Prime Minister asked Muslims to come closer to the BJP with "open arms". "Not only are the doors of the organisation open but also our hearts," he said.

The BJP's Muslim pitch was criticised by VHP leader Praveen Togadia, who said Vajpayee’s promise to recruit two lakh Urdu teachers and provide Rs 74 crore to madrasas was "insulting" to Hindus.

This was just the kind of attack Vajpayee was responding to in an interview to Panchjanya. He said criticism by outfits connected to "our ideology" were unjust.

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