Vajpayee Not Likely To Campaign In Gujarat, Himachal Elections: BJP

Shimla: It was unlikely that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee would campaign for the party in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi BJP National Vice-president said here today.”Had it not been for his falling health, Vajpayee would have visited the two states and campaigned in favour of the party candidates,” Naqvi told mediapersons.

He said the doctors had advised the former prime minister about not traveling long distances. ”However, he would join the campaign for the party if there was any improvement in his health,” he said.

Referring to the unsavoury incidents between the Election Commission and the state Congress over the election dates, he said that the former prime minister had expressed his concern over it.

”The whole country had witnessed the state Congress Government’s intransigence over the poll dates and what was more shocking that the government’s had expressed no regret about the whole incident,” said Naqvi.

Himachal had a special place in the heart of the former prime minister who had announced liberal grants during his tenure, he said.

Replying to the party’s not announcing a chief ministerial candidate before the polls in Himachal, he said that the state unit had several trusted and tested leaders and the next state chief minister would be from the BJP.

The BJP leader said former deputy prime minister L K Advani, party’s national president Rajnath Singh, former national presidents Murli Manohar Joshi and M Venkiah Naidu, senior party leader Sushma Swaraj, national vice president Shanta Kumar and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal would aggressively campaign in favour of the party candidates from December five after the formal launching of the campaign from Mandi on November 18.

The party had prepared its strategy up to the booth level for the assembly elections in Himachal and the BJP activists were working round the clock to ensure its effective implementation, he said.

Referring to the Election Commission’s decision to allow the state government to sign agreements on hydel projects, being set up in the state, Navi said the party sees no reason for expediting the process when the polls are on.

He said widespread corruption, phenomenal price rise and failure of the state government on the employment front would be the party’s main issues in the assembly elections that are being held in two phases on November 14 and December 19.

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