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'I don't expect Atal to return favour'

BJP leader Advani says he does not expect Vajpayee to propose his name for prime ministership in the next polls.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2006 17:06 IST

In a surprise statement, BJP leader L K Advani today said he does not expect former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to propose his name for prime ministership, for which he indicated he would be the party candidate in the next elections.

"While I had given his name for prime ministership in the first place, I don't expect him to return that favour to me," Advani told a TV channel in an interview.

However, the press release issued by the channel did not give any reasons for Advani saying so.

"If you look at the British system, it is always the leader of Opposition who is the prime minister in waiting," Advani said.

Asked if this did not compromise BJP president Rajnath Singh's position, he said, "The party would decide what to do with Rajnath Singh."

Advani said despite being the leader of Opposition, he was more of a consultant to the party now.

"Earlier as the leader of Opposition, I also took great interest in organisational matters. I have stopped that now. I am more of a consultant now," he said.

Referring to the controversy regarding his Pakistan visit, Advani said, "My trip helped people get rid of the perception of that here was a man, a party which was percieved to be anti-Islam, that it was wrong perception."

Dismissing the findings of the Sachar Committee that studied the socio-economic status of Muslims, Advani said it was the "worst kind of vote bank politics being practised by the Congress party".

First Published: Dec 10, 2006 17:06 IST