Good governance key issue: Advani

Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani said that it is the responsibility of every political party to keep restraint and deal strictly with law and order problem.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2003 19:57 IST

Focussing on his pet topic of 'sushasan' (good governance), Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani expressed happiness that it had become the central point of ensuing Assembly election. Without naming Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, he said "cleverness and public relations skills" could not be substitute for good governance.

Speaking to media persons here before he launched the election campaign for the BJP candidates in the State on Thursday, Advani tried to downplay the Dilip Singh Judeo episode saying political issues sometimes do come up or are raised despite the centrality of good governance before elections. "But the main focus is still on good governance," he said.

Flanked by Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley, BJP state president Kailash Joshi, organisation general secretary Kaptan Singh Solanki and Leader of Opposition Babulal Gaur, the Deputy Prime Minister said Singh did not have any explanation regarding the "backwardness" of the State since there was one party and one CM for all these 10 years. Quoting various survey reports, he said these confirmed that the State was lagging far behind the other states in development.

Advani felt that CM's reply to Jaitley's letter on development or lack of it a few months ago failed to convince anyone. On the other hand, the BJP's promises made in election manifesto would not be hollow as the Centre had given proof of the fulfilment of its promises, he said.

The Judeo issue, he felt, would boomerang on the Congress since development issues were the focal point of election discussions. "I feel gratified that in this round of Assembly elections, the main focus of debate is good governance.... Attempt was made to raise political issue but the other party has realised that it would prove more counterproductive," he said.

However, Advani conceded that the Judeo episode "should" leave an impact on these elections. "Probity in public life is an issue." But he maintained that the Congress was a "source of corruption". The BJP and the Congress responded differently to it. "During the 1977 elections, while Jaiprakash Narayan had become a symbol of probity in public life the Congress had reacted by saying that corruption is a global phenomenon," he said.

Asked why the BJP was continuously falling prey to sting operations, he refused to recognise that Judeo episode was a result of such an operation. As against the Bangaru Laxman incident, no one had taken the responsibility for the operation in the latest episode. "It is a queer kind of a case.

Whether Judeo is at fault or not and the purpose behind the act would come out only after the CBI investigation is over," he commented. He said Judeo would remain a chief campaigner in Chhattisgarh. Asked whether Judeo would be the star campaigner, he said, "Only Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is BJP's star campaigner."

Advani took pride in mentioning that the BJP had a galaxy of campaigners. He said this was lacking in other parties, which depended on only one or two leaders. "The advantages to the BJP had increased multifold. The BJP has developed new generation leaders," he said.

The Deputy PM felt that the party's prospects have been improving rapidly with each passing day. "As I can see it today, the BJP will emerge in this round of election with flying colours," he said.

Expresses concern over Assam violence

Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani has expressed concern over the targetting of Hindi-speaking people in Assam.

Speaking to media persons here on Thursday, Advani said the Centre could not remain a silent spectator to such an issue. "Union Minister of State for Home Swami Chinmayanand had gone there on Thursday. I spoke to Assam Governor and CM yesterday. I feel it is the responsibility of every political party to keep restraint and deal strictly with law and order problem," he added.

Asked to comment on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's statement made at Indore yesterday that Malwa had become a hub of criminals, he said the Centre could not act suo motu on it.

He said, "The responsibility to act lies on the States. A change in Constitution is needed to enable the Centre to take cognizance of crimes of different nature." Calling these as "federal crimes", he said the CMs' conference had failed to arrive at a conclusion though the DGPs demanded the change.

On the fake stamp scam, he said it had grave implications. While the Andhra Pradesh and Delhi governments have asked the CBI to make investigations, Karnataka and Maharashtra governments have not even though the crime originated in these two states. He said the Maharashtra Government seemed inclined to recommend CBI inquiry.

First Published: Nov 20, 2003 19:57 IST