NATIONAL

We "completely" supported Mahajan family: Vajpayee



Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party was "completely" supportive of slain party leader Pramod Mahajan's family during their hours of crisis, the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said on Thursday.

A day after Rahul Mahajan got bail in a case of drug abuse, Mr. Vajpayee said he was happy about it. He denied a suggestion that Pramod Mahajan's family was unhappy that the party was not supporting them. "His family members have not said so," he said, referring to a statement by Rahul's sister Poonam Rao in this regard.

As he emerged from a coordination committee meeting on Chhattisgarh at the party headquarters here, Mr. Vajpayee rejected the charges levelled by Pravin Mahajan as "unworthy of attention." " Us par dhyan na dein," [Don't pay attention to it] he said.

Mr. Vajpayee refused to elaborate on Rahul Mahajan's future in the BJP as the latter was now embroiled in legal battles. "At this time, the question of taking him or not taking him into the party does not arise."

Mr. Vajpayee's comments came a few hours before Rahul Mahajan issued a press statement, declaring that he had done nothing illegal or morally wrong. Mr. Mahajan claimed he was born into the BJP and would die with it. He expressed his gratitude for the moral support extended to him and his family. He specially thanked Mr. Vajpayee and party president Rajnath Singh.