Vajpayee tells BJP to end groupism
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Vajpayee tells BJP to end groupism

He asks them to unite for UP polls that will pave the way for return to power at the Centre, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2006 02:13 IST

Former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee on Sunday asked BJP leaders to end groupism and work united for winning the UP assembly elections, which he said, would open the "door of opportunity" for the party to re-capture power at the Centre.

Wrapping up the three-day BJP conclave, Vajpayee said, "The road to Delhi is via Lucknow and the UP polls are not just another assembly elections. We have to think seriously and work hard for ushering in the change both in the state and in the country."

Speaking in his characterstic style laced with humour, Vajpayee said, "Lucknow means Luck Now. The message from this conclave is that luck won't come to us on its own. We have to work to bring us luck. The only mantra I know of is that, forget your differences, work shoulder to shoulder and remember the common man."

Leader of Opposition LK Advani too saw signs of ascent for the BJP, warning the party not to mistake that the UPA was stable and the people were satisfied with the government's performance. "It is just an appearance."

Advani, who spoke before Vajpayee, said, "UP is where the BJP will bounce back. The first challenge is in UP. It is where we will bounce back. It is where we drew real strength when we marched to power in the late 1990s and do so again in the 2009 polls."

"But we must remember that, in UP where law and order is a serious issue, we must not field any candidate who is even remoted tainted with any criminal background."

Vajpayee said, "We are seeing signs of our party's ascent again. There should be no room for groupism in the party. The old amity among leaders must return. Everyone should have a playful attitude and take work as fun and drop lethargy. Our enemies pose a serious challenge. But the country's mindset is changing. New doors of opportunity will open when polls take place in UP and three states."

Vajpayee said the elections in UP were not about a battle for power or a play for votes. "You know the situation in UP. The battle is for life's basic values. The people understand the need for a change. We have to be prepared for the change and the challenge."

Taking a dig at UP Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav whose declaration of 129 BJP leaders attending the conclave as "state guests" created a row, Vajpayee said, "We are grateful for the treatment meted to us."

But he made it clear that the battle between the SP and the BJP is for real. "How can we forget the manner in which our BJP worker was beheaded because of political rivalry. There are so many examples of political intolerance and violence. The law and order situation here is a challenge. We will face it."

Vajpayee praised the stewardship of BJP by Rajnath Singh, saying that he had brought new enthusiasm "everywhere" in the party. "We got someone at the helm who is known for his organisational and administrative skills. The position of party chief is a pivotal one."

First Published: Dec 24, 2006 16:12 IST