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Gujaratis were angry about slander campaign: Advani

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
December 15, 2002 13:23 IST
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Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani said on Sunday that he was thankful to the people of Gujarat for giving the Bharatiya Janata Party a victory in the assembly election.

"We would have got a renewed mandate in any case... this is a lesson for the country that the people of Gujarat have voted in anger against the slander campaign carried out against them, the administration and the [caretaker] chief minister [Narendra Modi] by the opposition parties.

The BJP and its leader Narendra Modi have been given an excellent mandate. I am sure that the new government would strive to fulfil its mandate in a manner that would meet the aspirations of the people of the state," he said at the BJP's headquarter in New Delhi.

Advani said there was no question of taking a hardline or softline stand; these were phrases invented by the media and used against the BJP.

"During my five-day campaign in the state, I never mentioned the word Godhra in my speeches and refrained from mentioning anything about the riots. But it was because of the campaign carried out by the Congress...that we had to be slightly on the offensive," he said.

BJP president Venkaiah Naidu said the newly elected legislators will meet on Monday in Ahmedabad and elect their leader.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi