From KO Archives | Vajpayee Elected BJP Leader


‘We will take every body along’

NEW DELHI- Atal Behari Vajpayee, who was unanimously elected leader of 'the BJP parliamentary party today, said there should be no apprehension among any sections about BJP and spoke of the party being at the threshhold of power at the centre.

"Abhi hum ko kendra may avsar milne wala hai. Kisi kay man may BJP kay baray may ashanka nahin rahini chahaye" (We are now about to get an opportunity at the centre. There should be no apprehension about BJP in anyone's mind), he said in his address to the newly elected members of the party after he was elected at the central hall of parliament.

Recalling his resolve expressed during the debate on the motion of confidence of his short-lived government in 1996 that he would come back with adequate numbers, Vajpayee said the party has now returned with more people's support.

Of course, we don’t have the requisite numbers It is not because we don't have people's support but may be due to inadequate effort on our party, he said, adding that was why the party would have to take the support of allies.

Vajpayee's name was proposed by party president L.K Advani and seconded by senior leaders Sikander Bakht and Murli Manohar Joshi.

When Advani suggested to vice president S S Bhandari to elicit if there was any other candidate, all the MPS rose in their seats with a show of hand to approve the election of Vajpayee.

While maintaining that hate was not on BJP’s agenda, he said his party government would ensure security, prosperity and happiness of all sections which had been its mission right from the beginning.

Vajpayee said there had been no discrimination in the country on the basis of religion and respect for religions had been the national creed. "We don't consider deferent religions as obstacles but as symbols of our cultural richness and that which represented unity in diversity, we should take them all together.This is challenge for me,” he said.

The party’s prime ministerial candidate said BJP has now reached geographically and socially each and every corner of the country.

Elaborating on the apprehensions about BJP, Vajpayee said the party had dispelled them in whichever state they had governments. Now the party has got an opportunity to pass this test at the centre also and it was ‘confident of succeeding, he said.

(Kashmir Observer, 10 March, 1998)

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