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BJP has not accused Patil, says Advani

The BJP leader says charges have drawn strength from RBI reports, HC rulings and media investigations.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2007 18:09 IST

Voicing concern over allegations levelled against UPA's presidential candidate Pratibha Patil, the BJP on Thursday refuted charges of opposition parties being behind them and asked the Congress-led alliance to reconsider her candidature.

"It is for the first time that serious allegations have been levelled against a presidential candidate. We have asked the UPA to reconsider its candidate," Leader of Opposition LK Advani told reporters at the airport in Jabalpur.

"The UPA has over 15-20 options, the maximum number of prospective candidates who have come forth in any election (for the post of President). Yet a lightweight was selected, ignoring other heavyweights," he said.

Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's reported statement about opposition parties levelling "false" allegations against Patil, Advani said: "We have not levelled any charges.

"The allegations drew strength from RBI reports, high court rulings and media investigations."

Advani said he had asked BJP workers to gather details about a CD possessed by a TV reporter in Nagpur on a murder allegedly involving Patil's kin.

Asked whether the BJP is contemplating breaking its ties with the Shiv Sena after its leaders decided to back Patil, Advani said: "It is for the BJP to decide.

"The Shiv Sena and its parliamentary board have not announced a decision (to back the UPA candidate). It was only an opinion voiced by Shiv Sena's state (Maharashtra) unit," he said. "We are concentrating on the Presidential polls and any decision can be taken afterwards."

Asking party leaders to take serious note of the BJP's debacle in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, Advani denied making comments on any individual as reported in a section of the media.

Commenting on the party's recent poll debacles, he said: "The loss in Uttar Pradesh and Goa can't be equated. In Goa, the BJP contested 21 seats out of 40 and was expecting around 14-15 seats, but in Uttar Pradesh the defeat was far more serious and should not be ignored."

Senior BJP leaders should analyse the situation, he said.

First Published: Jun 28, 2007 16:29 IST