For L K Advani, BJP's prime ministerial candidate, the general election is the most critical battle of his six decade-long political career. Following is the transcript of Mr Advani's chat session with rediff readers:
L K Advani says, Hello Rediff readers, I am here to answer your questions
AK asked, Hello Advani Ji, Don't you think India needs a Younger PM at this time when there is a need to understand Global Situation and who can think of a Modern India.
L K Advani answers, at 2009-01-22 10:10:13AK, The question you have asked, I think the important part of it is that you need to understand the global situation, and who can think of a modern India. These are the two essential attributes you rightly think are necessary to lead the country. I can humbly claim that it is possible for me to do so.
tapabrata asked, What are your four priorites if you become prime minister?
L K Advani answers, Tapabrata, I recall the days I was deputy prime minister in Vajpayee's government, which gave thec ountry an excellent leadership between 1998 and 2004. Those were days when the country was beamning with confidence. The world had come to respect India and the general talk began that India would become a great power by the middle of the 21st century. Unfortunately, after the change in government in 2004, the mood has been becoming more and more desperate and these days as 2009 began, there have been more and more magazines with captions like 2008 has been the worst year in Independent India. The first task before an NDA government, if it is voted to power, would be to dispel the gloom and re-create the general climate of optimism and hope that obtained in the six years of Vajpayee's rule. Presently, one of our groups is working on what precise steps need to be taken in the first 100 days to bring about this transformation.
PRASHANT asked, WHAT PLANNING @ WAR WITH PAKISTAN?
L K Advani answers, Prashant, security has naturally to be any nation's first concern. And a sovereign nation has every right to decide on the course of action it needs to take to safeguard itself. What action precisely to take, is a matter in which only a government which is fully posted about all the necessay parameters within which action can be taken, can decide.
Image: BJP leader L K Advani (2nd from Left) responds to readers' queries. Seen alongside are daughter Pratibha, Chief Aide Deepak Chopra and Political Advisor Sudheendra Kulkarni.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera