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…which he called a “deceitful party” (dhoka dene waali party), Mr. Singh appeared to have buried the hatchet and decided to continue support to the Manmohan Singh government. When his attention was drawn to senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani’s praise of SP ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia earlier in the day, Mr. Singh said: “What is wrong? Great leaders should be lauded, but when I praised Mr. Advani [during Dr. Lohia’s 103rd birth anniversary celebrations], a lot of hue and cry was made.”
In his inaugural address at a two-day BJP State executive meeting at Chitrakoot, Mr. Advani, in a specific mention of Dr. Lohia, recalled his interaction with the socialist leader in his early days when he (Mr. Advani) was a journalist and had not yet entered active politics. The veteran BJP leader said Dr. Lohia “respected the Bharatiya Jana Sangh’s philosophy of nationalism, especially cultural nationalism.” (The BJP is the present avatar of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.) This was quickly reciprocated by Mr. Singh, who, in Lucknow, described Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee as a “great leader” (bade neta thhe).
At the Chitrakoot meeting, Mr. Advani said no one could form the next government at the Centre without the support of either his party or the Congress.