OTHERS

BJP president rules out JPC probe

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, APRIL 29. The BJP president, Mr. Jana Krishnamoorthy, has said that the question of appointing a Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the `Tehelka.com expose' did not arise now as a judicial commission has already been appointed.

Addressing a `Meet-the-Press' programme jointly organised by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists and Kesari Memorial Journalists Trust here today, the BJP president said the Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, had said, before the appointment of the Commission, that he had an open mind on the question and that the matter could be decided after a debate in Parliament. However, the Opposition was not willing for a debate.

Mr. Krishnamoorthy said two inquiries could not run concurrently. The Supreme Court would not oblige future requests from the Government for judges for judicial probes if the Government proposed another inquiry.

He said his party had a transparent system of accepting contributions to the party fund.

In view of the `Tehelka.com expose', the matter would be discussed within the party and the system improved further. The party was for transparency and accountability on funds mobilisation.

The former BJP president, Mr. Bangaru Laxman, had accepted Rs. 1 lakh for the party and this had been accounted. He resigned on his own. He was insistent that he should keep out until he is exonerated of the charge.

He said the BJP had moved from a politics of confrontation to politics of consensus from the mid-90s.

It was trying to arrive at a consensus with the Opposition parties on main issues. However, the Congress was not reciprocating. It had still not understood the changed circumstances.

He said Mr. Vajpayee had never called the late Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, a thief. On the other hand, the Leader of the Opposition, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, had described Mr. Vajpayee as a traitor while speaking in Bangalore.

Mr. Vajpayee was not being bitter towards Ms. Sonia Gandhi.

He said the limited objective of the BJP in the Kerala Assembly elections was to have an electoral breakthrough. Kerala, especially its youth, was wishing for a change.

Both the fronts had not performed well in Kerala. The BJP would be able to turn this disenchantment to its favour. It would not be surprising if some known leaders are defeated in this elections.

He said the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. A.K. Antony's statement that it was not averse to taking BJP votes showed that the Congress had to depend on BJP votes. However, the party would not be obliging the Congress with its votes.

The fact that the party had not fielded candidates in 10 constituencies did not mean that the party had a soft corner for the Congress in the State.

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