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'No question of changing Sonia, irrespective of poll outcome'

Krishna asserted the question of change in Sonia's leadership in the post-election scene "does not arise, whatever may be poll outcome".
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Bangalore
PUBLISHED ON APR 18, 2004 07:52 PM IST

Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna today asserted the question of change in Congress President Sonia Gandhi's leadership in the post-election scene "does not arise, whatever may be the poll outcome".

"Did Vajpayee win the nation (as BJP President). Was he removed (from the post)", he shot back, when asked if Congress should think of a change in Gandhi's leadership if it lost the Lok Sabha polls for the third time under her stewardship.

"We have loyalty to our leadership. The question of change in Sonia Gandhi's leadership does not arise, whatever may be the poll outcome", he declared at a meet-the-press programme, organised by the Press Club of Bangalore here.

When it was pointed out that Vajpayee had quit as BJP President after the party lost the polls, he reiterated his position the question of resignation by Gandhi does not arise.

Asked if the Congress presidentship "is for a lifetime", he said, "No. We elect the Congress President. If there is one nomination (in the election), can we put up a dummy. Venkaiah Naidu was elected (as BJP president). The same way we elect (our leader)".

To a query on whether he would accept the Prime Ministership if it came his way, as he had been given the fourth place in terms of popular rating in some opinion polls, he laughed it away, saying, "that question does not arise". "Maybe, for mischief, some have named me", he said.

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