The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Advani courage test
Advani at the meeting. (AFP)

New Delhi, Sept. 30: Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani today said that it takes courage to go against “vote-bank politics” and raise issues like the uniform civil code, the ISI and the presence of “illegal Bangladeshis” in public as they invite charges of being communal.

“No government spoke against these before the Vajpayee government assumed power as it was considered as being against a particular community,” Advani told a meeting to mark end of a BJP yatra on Parliament Street — usually a hot spot for demonstrations against government policies.

Sticking to national issues at the meeting meant to boost the BJP’s Assembly election campaign in Delhi, Advani said: “I am happy that courts are speaking on issues like the uniform civil code and the problem of illegal Bangladeshis. The President has also favoured the uniform civil code.”

“If such a law can be prevalent in other countries, why can’t it be implemented here'” he asked.

Advani said he had to blame the ISI as it had become a threat to the nation. The deputy Prime Minister recalled that a West Bengal chief minister asked him some time back why he never cited the example of the state as one affected by ISI-sponsored militants.

Advani said he omitted West Bengal’s name from the list of terrorism-effected states because it would have been embarrassing had the Left Front-ruled state denied the role of the ISI in fomenting trouble in their own land.

“Indian politics should change if we have to progress,” Advani said. “We should shun vote-bank politics for development and security of the country,” he said.

The deputy Prime Minister said India had failed to become a developed nation despite having the potential to be in that bracket. This happened since the previous governments had “failed to translate swaraj (self-rule) into suraj (good governance) and there was “no collective target” to achieve.

Advani said the BJP’s programme, the Parivartan Yatra, that ended today had twin objectives — to unseat the Congress government headed by Sheila Dikshit and to change national politics.

He appealed to the people to vote for the BJP in Delhi as the verdict would reflect on the Centre.

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