2 Mar : BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L K Advani has said that the NDA lost the 2004 general elections due to "over confidence" and use of wrong slogans like "India Shining".
Addressing a conference of BJP’s Traders’ Cell at New Delhi on Monday, Advani said after being in power for six years and giving good governance under the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, NDA was confident of forming the next government.
"The impression even among the opponents and foreign analysts was that we will win….but we lost…one, due to over-confidence and secondly,using some wrong slogans like India Shining…," he said.
Advani, who was the then deputy prime minister, said this slogan was used by BJP opponents who asked the voters if they really felt India was shining.
"Our opponents went to the people and asked them if their homes were shining…everybody has his own problems…there is so much poverty in the country, farmers have their problems… they said where is India shining?" he quipped.
Taking a dig at Congress-led UPA, Advani said they won the 2004 polls with the support of the common man."Five years down the line, we get reports that so many Indians have become billionaires. On the other hand, Indian Statistical Institute has said the number of people below the poverty line has gone up by 5.5 crore from 3.5 crore in the last five years," he said.
Advani said BJP was opposed to FDI in the retail sector as it would affect the small trader."If they (government) bring FDI in retail trade it will bring about a slowdown in trade….one can only imagine the joblessness it will lead to. BJP is opposed to FDI in this sector. We think there is no need," he said.
Asking his supporters to work for the victory of the party, Advani said, "The importance is not in making somebody the Prime Minister….but of making India the first among nations."
Reacting to BJP opponents for calling the party one of middle class and small traders, he said he did not object to it as it meant the party had the support of the common man.
Advani termed joblessness as a bigger insecurity than the insecurity of life or the problems posed by increasing prices.BJP stood for employment and rights of farmers, he said.