Patna, Oct 12: Senior BJP leader L K Advani today said there was all possibility of the NDA getting a chance to form the next government at the Centre, but remained non-committal on whether he was still in the race for prime ministership.
High on the initial response received by his Jan Chetna Yatra in Bihar after support from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Advani, on the second day of his yatra, said going by the present conditions in the country, the UPA government is unlikely to complete its term.
“Even though elections are not so near, the way this UPA government is running, there is a concern that elections could happen before time. There is all possibility that the NDA will get a chance to form the next government,” he told mediapersons here.
On the issue of prime ministership, Advani remained elusive and continued with the suspense on whether he is in the race or not.
“At present, the elections are not so near. The party will decide as to who will be its prime ministerial candidate when the elections come,” he said when asked on the issue, clarifying that even in 2009 elections he had not declared his candidature for prime ministership.
“There is a possibility of early polls under the present situation because of corruption and black money,” he said.
On a specific question on whether he was willing to be the PM candidate if the party agrees on it, Advani refused to reply saying, “I have already said what I wanted.” He was replying to a volley of questions on whether he was still in the race for the PM's post on the second day of his rath yatra which began at Sitabdiara in Saran district, the birth place of late Jayaprakash Narayan, yesterday.
Advani said people were imputing motives now on the purpose of his yatra. “It is not possible for people to imagine that someone can take out a nation-wide yatra on the issue of corruption.”
Raising the issue of black money, Advani asked the government to come out with the steps taken so far by it to get back the black money of Indians stashed away in various tax havens abroad.
He said according the Global Financial Integrity Report, an international think tank in America, from 1948 to 2008 India had lost a total of USD 213 billion in illicit financial flows.
The present value of India's total illicit financial flows is at least USD 462 billion or approximately Rs 23,10,000 crore, he said.
Advani claimed that estimates given by Swiss banks themselves put it at USD 1.4 trillion with India topping the list, followed by Russia, UK and then China.
Even though he cannot vouch for this figure, Advani said, a book entitled “Capitalism's Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System” by Raymond W Baker has estimated Indian money stashed away in foreign banks at USD 1.4 trillion.
The former deputy prime minister's yatra was greeted by local people in stretches along the 80-km route from Chhapra to Patna yesterday. He passed through the constituencies of RJD leader Lalu Prasad and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.
“This is the best response I received in all my six yatras,” he said.
The senior BJP leader also denied having any rift with Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, and said, “He (Modi) has himself praised my yatra on his blog.” PTI