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Venkaiah trashes reports of Vajpayee's retirement

BJP chief M Venkaiah Naidu has dismissed reports that Vajpayee would retire after the Lok Sabha polls to make way for Advani.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Jabalpur
UPDATED ON APR 30, 2004 06:07 PM IST

BJP President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday dismissed as false reports that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee would retire after the Lok Sabha polls to make way for Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani.

"This statement is far from truth. Atalji would lead the nation and there is no question of his retirement after the Lok Sabha polls," he said when asked whether RSS would ask Vajpayee to step down after the polls.

Naidu, who was here in connection with campaigning for BJP candidate Rakesh Singh Thakur, claimed BJP would form government for the first time in a southern state - Karnataka.

The BJP leader, before leaving for Narsinghpur, said it was not true that there was a "secret understanding" between his party and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. He also denied that SP would join the NDA after the polls.

Attacking Congress, he said "it has changed its stand thrice and now is banking upon alliance with regional parties like DMK and others to win".

On exit polls, Naidu said he had least faith in these.

Referring to Ayodhya issue, he said NDA Government would abide by the court verdict in this regard.

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