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BJP's victory march has begun: PM

Source: PTI
December 15, 2002 19:28 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party's victory in Gujarat is the beginning of the party's march towards victory in the assembly elections next year and the Lok Sabha polls in 2004, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said at his residence in New Delhi on Sunday.

In his first reaction to the BJP's win, Vajpayee, flanked by his deputy Lal Kishenchand Advani and party president M Venkaiah Naidu, said partymen should begin preparations in various states where polls are due.

"This win has come along with victories in Rajasthan, where we have won all the three assembly by-elections, and in Godda [Jharkhand] where we have retained the Lok Sabha seat," he said.

Hitting out at the Congress for attempting to play the communal card, Vajpayee said, "Communalism is a double-edged sword, which cuts both ways."

He said while the BJP refrained from making Godhra an election issue, it was the Congress that had promised a white paper on it and the people rejected it.

Congratulating BJP workers for the win in Gujarat, Vajpayee said the people of the state had given an opportunity to the party to work towards development.

Vajpayee said the opposition thought that the people of Gujarat were displeased with the government and it was hopeful of a favourable outcome. "But they forgot that the BJP government functioned well… and found solutions to the people's problems."

The people found that the Congress was not very concerned about the growing menace of terrorism, the prime minister said.

"Godhra carnage was also not condemned and this hurt the people of the state," he said, adding, "we maintained our level of electioneering and succeeded in getting the support of the electorate."

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