BJP hopes to sail with ailing
Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is desperately
hoping to gain mileage from its ailing star campaigner, former
prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in the run up to the
general elections early next year - provided he gets the green
signal from his doctors.
is our stalwart. Forget about the people at large, even we
feel his absence in the party. It all depends upon doctors
allowing him to attend two to three rallies," senior
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told IANS.
has been taking a backseat from active politics ever since
the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was voted out of
power in the May 2004 Lok Sabha poll. He attended a few sessions
of the house that year - but chose to occupy the back benches.
Since then, he is rarely seen in public and is confined to
his home due to age-related problems.
he remains alert can be gauged from the fact that he was quick
to issue a congratulatory message Wednesday to scientists
of the Indian Space Research Organisation on the launch of
the country's first unmanned lunar mission. In fact, it was
Vajpayee who had given the mission its name - Chandrayaan.
has also declared that he would not contest the 2009 polls.
hope his appeal for the party would work among the people,
with two to three rallies,Ф said a source in the party.
expected rallies would be held in north India, with one most
likely to be in Lucknow - Vajpayee's parliamentary constituency.
the moment, no one in the party is ready to confirm the dates
on which Vajpayee could be seen in public.
Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that no programmes
had as yet been scheduled for Vajpayee.
still time to the general elections. No formal programmes
have been chalked out yet. We cannot say anything because
of the status of his (Vajpayee's) health,Ф Naqvi told IANS.
party president M. Venkaiah Naidu said: УWe all would like
to see Atalji campaigning for the party but can't confirm
anything because of his health.Ф