Mulayam in Kanshi queue

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  • Published 21.09.03

New Delhi, Sept. 21: Two days after Mayavati slammed the BJP for not visiting Kanshi Ram in hospital, senior BJP and Samajwadi Party members dropped in to inquire after the ailing Bahujan Samaj Party leader’s health.

On Friday, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister had said the BJP could take lessons from the Congress chief who had wished to visit Kanshi Ram in hospital. “Sonia Gandhi videshi hain, lekin Hindu sabhyata ke thekedar logon ko unse Indian sabhyata seekhni chahiye (The self-appointed custodians of Hindu culture should learn Indian etiquette from Sonia).”

The BSP leader was shifted to a hospital here last Monday after suffering a brain stroke in Hyderabad.

The day after Mayavati’s outburst, deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani visited Kanshi Ram while Union ministers Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley sent him letters, wishing him a speedy recovery.

It was the turn of Mayavati’s arch-rival Mulayam Singh Yadav today. The Samajwadi chief, who succeeded her as chief minister, called on Kanshi Ram, accompanied by party general secretary Amar Singh.

“I met him (Kanshi Ram) at the hospital and shook hands. We have no personal differences. In politics, there are no enemies, only ideological differences,” Mulayam said after his 30-minute visit. The Samajwadi chief wished him a quick recovery, adding: “There is no bitterness.”

But BJP leader Pramod Mahajan was not impressed with Mayavati’s praise for Sonia. Taking a dig at Sonia’s “poor understanding” of Indian culture and values, he said in Chandigarh today that the BJP-led central government was “happy” to have a person like her as the leader of Opposition.