The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rajiv tormentor campaigns for ‘Indian’ Sonia
(Top) Sonia, Singh

New Delhi, Nov. 6: Former Prime Minister V.P. Singh, who had brought down the late Rajiv Gandhi’s government on the Bofors payoff scam, today openly supported Sonia Gandhi by castigating the BJP for raking her foreign origin.

Singh appealed to voters not to fall into the trap and divide secular votes.

“She is not a foreigner. She has become a naturalised Indian. There is this phenomenon of naturalisation the world over, but the BJP raises this issue to sidetrack the real issues afflicting the people. They don’t criticise her children because they are Indians,” asserted the former premier.

Singh accused the BJP of adopting double standards, saying the party talked about swadeshi but was opening up the country for videshis and that the advisers of BJP leaders were foreigners.

The former Prime Minister cited the Ayodhya problem and said, at a news conference, that the BJP is always on the lookout for emotive issues whenever elections are near. People saw the real face of the BJP in Gujarat, he claimed, and said it is important to defeat the party at the hustings.

Only the Congress could give a befitting reply to the BJP in the states going to polls on December 1, Singh said. The polls in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will be the foundation for the BJP’s defeat at the Centre, he claimed.

Singh clarified that this did not mean he was joining the Congress, but said the “objective reality” was that the Congress was the main force that could defeat the BJP in these states.

“Though the Janata Dal (Secular) or Left parties would be putting up candidates in these states and we will support them, the main force that could defeat BJP is the Congress.” If the elections were in Karnataka or Bengal, then former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and the Left parties would have been the main forces to defeat the BJP, he said.

Singh welcomed the Election Commission directive that candidates should declare their assets and went a step further to say leaders resigning from their parties should seek fresh mandate.

Singh did not show much interest in the third front being talked about by some secular and regional party leaders. The front’s revival, he said, was a matter of the distant future.

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