Thursday, Jul 11, 2002
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By Manas Dasgupta
Many BJP MLAs consider Mr. Gill's observations made in an interview to a private television channel in Delhi earlier this week a direct insinuation against the ruling party as they may give an impression that the party is keeping the communal issue alive to take advantage of the polarisation of votes along communal lines in the coming elections.
These MLAs as well as many leaders in the organisational wing of the BJP felt that Mr. Gill was only expected to advise Mr. Modi on security matters and not air his views publicly on the political situation. The party sources claimed that at least 70 of the 115 party MLAs were not in favour of early electionsThe MLAs have different reasons for opposing early elections. Many feel that their names could be removed from the list of party nominees. Mr. Modi has made it known that more than 40 per cent of the sitting members would be sidelined to accommodate "new and young blood."
There also are those who do not feel confident of being re-elected, particularly from the Kutch-Saurashtra region, where the communal card has failed to make much impact and the non-performance of the BJP Government has made things difficult for them. Besides, the first-timers in the Modi Cabinet are not in favour of their term being cut short.
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