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'Bofors totally a non-issue'

The AICC member asserted that Bofors was totally a non-issue and flayed BJP for raking it up when the court had decided it once for all.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Bangalore
UPDATED ON APR 14, 2004 01:34 PM IST

AICC General Secretary Vilasrao Deshmukh today asserted that Bofors was "totally a non-issue" and flayed the BJP for raking it up even when the court had decided it "once for all".

Maintaining that there was no connection between Rajiv Gandhi or any member of his family with Bofors, Deshmukh told reporters here that BJP was raising the issue despite a Delhi High Court verdict which showed they had no faith in judiciary.

BJP leaders, he said, were raising the issue merely because a Swedish investigating officer "says something" and asking Congress President Sonia Gandhi to explain. "Why (should she explain)".

He said BJP was not talking about "Bangaru Laxman, Judeo and Tehelka", which were "great examples of corruption", but was raising the Bofors issue which had already been "discussed and decided once for all" by the court.

Replying to a question on a survey by a magazine predicting that BJP would come to power in Karnataka, he said various mnagazines and TV channels had conducted their own surveys but they were not based on a "scientific basis".

"It does not mean that what they say is the ground reality", he said but added that the party would take it as a "guideline" and initiate corrective steps.

Deshmukh said the Congress was "hundred per cent sure" of coming back to power in Karnataka. Asked if any "backdoor consultation" was on with JD(S) for a post-poll pact in the event of Congress falling short of majority, he said, "we are here to win on our own".

He said he did not see "the slightest possibility" of a post-poll arrangement with JD(S) as the Congress would secure a "comfortable majority" on its own strength.

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