'Foreign origin issue was raised first within Cong'

Published on Apr 07, 2004 07:52 PM IST

Stating that the foreign origin issue was first raised within Congress itself by its leaders, BJP said it was a "sign of the party's weakness.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Panaji

Stating that the foreign origin issue was first raised within Congress itself by its leaders, BJP today said it was a "sign of the party's weakness that it had allied with the same people who had raised the matter."

"It was Sharad Pawar, P Sangma and Tariq Anwar who had first raised the issue of foreign origin, not us. They left the party. But now Congress is so jittery and scared that they are forced to ally with the same people who opposed (party president) Sonia Gandhi," BJP President Venkaiah Naidu told reporters here.

Reading from a letter written by the three while they were in Congress, he said while the foreign origin was an important issue, it was one of the many points on the basis of which this election would be fought, while denying that "BJP had picked up the issue from an internal fight in Congress."

Naidu, who is in the state on a day-long visit, exuded confidence that his party would cross the half way mark on its own, with the NDA garnering two-thirds majority and claimed that Congress would struggle to "cross double figures".

"We are confident that we will do well in states like Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Assam and cross the halfway mark on our own. This time, the BJP wave is stronger than it was in 1977 when it was only confined to the north and west of the country, and will extend to south and east as well," he said.

Denying allegations of BJP promoting dynasty rule by giving tickets to children of its leaders, Naidu said: "We are not opposed to children fighting elections as it is upto the people to vote for their leader, but we are opposed to one family thinking that it can rule the country."

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