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Is Shekhawat on the warpath with the BJP?

Byline: ANI

New Delhi/Jaipur, Jan.8 (ANI): An emergency meeting was called at Jaswant Singh's residence on Thursday to douse out an intra-party crisis that erupted after former Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat took the rebellious path and alleged widespread corruption in the party and slammed the BJP president for misdemeanour.

The meeting, held in the national capital, went on for two hours, but ended inconclusively.

BJP President Rajnath Singh, who was in the line of fire after he ruled out chances of Shekhawat contesting the elections, was also present in the meeting.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Shekhawat said the matter is still 'unresolved' and also indicated that he will fight the elections, health permitting.

Earlier in the day, Shekhawat expressed his eagerness to undertake a nation-wide campaign against corruption and charged former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje with siphoning off Rs.22000 crores.

"The party gains impurity with corruption. With the party's purificiation, it will only gain more strength in future even if it involves corruption in the distribution of tickets (for elections). I want the guilty to be found out," said Shekhawat.

Eight Six-year-old Shekhawat demanded an enquiry into the alleged corruption cases involving the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in Rajasthan regime.

He described himself as being among the senior functionaries of the BJP along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani and Rajnath Singh.

"Advaniji may be the PM candidate, but others too can contest the Lok Sabha polls, he is not the only one for contesting elections," he added.

He said if his health permits, and the people want, he would contest the general elections. In fact he said that "Atalji too should contest elections if his health improves".

Reacting to Rajnath Singh's comment that those who have taken a dip in the Ganges generally do not like to swim in the well, the former Vice President said: "I may have taken a dip in the Ganges, but I have also bathed in wells".

Hitting out at the BJP president, Shekhawat said, "Rajnath Singh was not even born when I joined the BJP, it will take him time to understand the party."

At the same time, he said he had no differences with either Advani or Rajnath Singh.

"There is no question of going against either Advaniji and Atalji. We have family ties with each other for years". He said that he would be meeting Advani soon.

"The talks were held in a very amicable environment. Shekhawatji is like a guardian to us (the partymen). He said that he has no malicious feeling against Atalji or Advaniji," Rajnath Singh claimed.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan's new Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said investigations are being conducted into some cases.

"The process of preliminary investigation has been initiated in a number of cases, including the land scam in the Jaipur Development Authority, spying and phone tapping of previous ministers of the then Raje government and fake police encounter in which a trader was killed," Gehlot said.

"Shekhawatji ka patra mila, usko examine karva rahein hain...unohon ne corruption par apni bhawana vyakt ki hai (I have received Shekhawat's letter, it is being examined...he has expressed his concern on corruption)," Gehlot told reporters after inaugurating the India Stonemart-2009 in Jaipur.

"My government will not act in a revengeful way but find out the truth of corruption committed during the previous BJP government...the guilty will be punished," Gehlot said. By Naveen Kapoor/Sandeep Datta (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jan 9, 2009
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