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Govindacharya calls for mass awakening programme

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, MAY 16. The former Bharatiya Janata Party ideologue, K.N. Govindacharya, announced today what he called a "mass awakening" programme to oppose the move to make the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, the prime minister and called upon "self-respecting political leaders" to give up their posts and launch a struggle akin to the freedom movement.

"There is no doubt that the verdict was against Atal Bihari Vajpayee" and the former Prime Minister should take time off to "repent" for his mistakes during the five years in office. However, the mandate was not in favour of Ms. Gandhi becoming the Prime Minister. The emergence of the "Italy born" Sonia Gandhi as the leader of the Congress-led coalition and as the potential Prime Minister "is a disturbing factor that has grave implications for our identity as a nation and civilisation and brings back memories of colonial days."

He made what he called "one last appeal" to political parties in the new coalition to reconsider their decision and choose a "natural born Indian citizen" as prime minister.

Countering the political argument that the mandate was for Ms. Gandhi and that the people had rejected the foreign origin issue, Mr. Govindacharya said the Congress initially did not project her as its prime ministerial candidate. "It consciously decided to duck this issue during the campaign.

Further, anyone who studies the composition of the Lok Sabha will realise that Congress MPs will occupy just over a quarter of the seats in the new House. This can hardly be construed as a verdict in her favour.

Bringing a foreign born by a post electoral quick fix is a fraud on the people after repeatedly telling them that the choice of the PM will be decided after the polls," he alleged.

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