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Again, BJP claws into Sonia

New Delhi, April 5: The death of Pope John Paul II cast its shadow on the unlikeliest of events ' the BJP national executive that was convened today to take stock of the political developments in the four months since it last met in Ranchi in November 2004.

The executive, chaired by party chief L.K. Advani, passed a resolution condoling the Pope's passing away but in discussions that followed the introduction of an omnibus resolution, questions were asked on why the United Progressive Alliance government declared a three-day state mourning and why Congress president Sonia Gandhi had not uttered a word.

Sources said members had suggested the government had taken the 'unprecedented' step in deference to Sonia's Roman Catholic origin and that she was being 'deliberately communal' by not paying her respects to the departed soul.

'Obviously, she thinks if she condoles the Pope's death, people may connect it with her Italian background. But this shows that she has not been able to rise above her roots and recognise that the Pope was a statesman, a world leader and not just the head of the Vatican,' said a senior national executive member.

Sources said Advani could refer to the three-day mourning in his speech at the BJP national council tomorrow.

The resolution alleged that the recent developments in Goa and Jharkhand ' the BJP lost a government in the first and formed a coalition in the second ' exposed the 'real truth' as against the 'manufactured myth' about Sonia.

'This truth is further accented by the deliberate manner in which the Congress president has undermined the authority and prestige of the office and the person of the Prime Minister and allowed herself to be projected as a 'super PM', one who exercises all authority with no accountability to Parliament,' it said.

The resolution noted that the first signs of disintegration in the ruling coalition had set in after the Bihar and Jharkhand elections. 'With each passing week, the disarray in the UPA grows. It has now begun to exhibit signs of disintegration.'

It cited as examples the Laloo Prasad Yadav-Ram Vilas Paswan war of words, the DMK's demand to sack central minister E.V.K.S. Elangovan for saying that the Congress should share power with the DMK if it forms a government after the next Tamil Nadu election and the Congress-TRS 'war' in Andhra Pradesh.

The two communist parties, which provide life-saving support to the government, have become increasingly harsh in their criticism, the resolution added.

If the government was praised on one score, it was for the 'principled and forthright' stand taken by the Prime Minister on the denial of a US visa to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

Taking care not to sound harsh about the US, the BJP attacked the 'vicious' propaganda against Modi by 'anti-Hindu' groups at home and abroad.

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