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Mahajan accepts blame for BJP debacle

By Rediff Election Bureau
May 13, 2004 20:18 IST
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Pramod Mahajan, the BJP's spin doctor and the man in charge of its election campaign, today accepted blame for the BJP's disastrous performance at the polls.

In an interview with the NDTV 24x7 television news channel, Mahajan said certain factors had worked against the party.

These included the perception that the Congress party was pro-poor as compared to the BJP, not trying up with Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party and choosing to go with the wrong ally in Tamil Nadu where the party was wiped out.

The BJP suffered a huge setback in Andhra Pradesh as well, where it did not win a single Lok Sabha seat. Its ally, the Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party, won only six Lok Sabha seats.

Mahajan did not agree that the BJP had paid the price for ignoring the Hindutva plank. "If we assume that, how can we explain what happened in Gujarat?"

He said the BJP would continue to respect the post of the prime minister even if Sonia Gandhi was elected to the post.

He also made it clear that this was Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's last election as leader of the BJP.

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Rediff Election Bureau