New Delhi: Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said that the “mistake” in Gujarat was the reason for the National Democratic Alliance’s defeat in the 2004 general election, former RAW chief A.S.Dulat has said.
In an interview conducted by Karan Thapar and telecast on India Today TV channel on Thursday, Dulat said Vajpayee admitted Gujarat was a mistake. “You could see the sadness in his (Vajpayee’s) eyes,” he said.
“Gujarat mein humse kuch galti ho gayi (We committed some mistake in Gujarat),” Dulat quoted Vajpayee as saying.
Dulat, whose book, “Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years”, is slated to be released shortly, said BJP leader L.K. Advani, who was the deputy prime minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, was not happy with the way the then principal secretary Brijesh Mishra was given importance by Vajpayee.
“Brijesh Mishra virtually ran the government. He was cool, composed and was the only boss. He had a very sharp mind. Advani felt the principal secretary was more important than the deputy PM and this was the main issue between Advani and Vajpayee,” Dulat said.
A day ahead of the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, his successor Narendra Modi on Monday released a commemorative Rs 100 coin to honour the late leader, who passed away in August.
Addressing a gathering at the Parliament House Annexe here, Modi said Vajpayee never compromised on the ideologies of the party and always spoke about national interest.
“For some people, power is oxygen…they can’t live without it…A long part of Atalji’s career was spent in the opposition benches but he spoke about national interest and never compromised on the ideology of the party.
“For long, the voice of Atalji was the voice of the nation,” Modi said.
“I assume that there must be invitations from other ideologies for joining hands to remain in power. Such things must have happened. But he never compromised.
“He was among those who could die for the nation, but would never compromise on the ideologies,” Modi said.
Vajpayee wanted democracy to be supreme. He built the Jana Sangh but when time came to rescue democracy he and others went to the Janata Party, Modi added.
“Likewise, when the choice was between remaining in power or comprising on ideology, he left Janata Party and formed the Bharatiya Janata Party” which “has become among the largest of political parties”, the Prime Minister said.
Hailing Vajpayee as “the best orator”, Modi said “the mind is not ready to believe that Atalji is no longer with us. He was a stalwart loved and respected across all sections of society.
Modi said e would go to Vajpayee’s memorial on Tuesday — his birth anniversary — to reiterate his commitment to the ideology and path shown by the leader.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma, BJP national President Amit Shah and veteran BJP leader and Vajpayee’s contemporary L.K. Advani were also present at the event to release the coin.
Commemorative coins are usually issued to celebrate some special occasion or to mark a special event. They also have been issued as a mark of respect towards some distinguished individuals or monument.