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Don't be overconfident, Advani cautions BJP
Sunday January 19, 2014 7:22 PM, IANS

The BJP should not be "overconfident" of winning the Lok Sabha election, veteran leader L.K. Advani said Sunday, adding this was one reason why it lost the 2004 battle.

Addressing the national council of the Bharatiya Janata Party here, Advani said there should be no slackness in the efforts to return to power after a decade's break.

"One of the reasons for losing the 2004 Lok Sabha polls was overconfidence," he told the packed venue at the Ramlila Maidan.

"We should not be overconfident and there should not be any shortcoming in the hard work that has to be put in."

Then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee led the BJP into the 2004 general election on the strength of an "India Shining" campaign. Advani was then the deputy prime minister.

But the BJP-led coalition suffered a shock defeat. The Congress-led UPA took power. Again, in 2009, the UPA increased its Lok Sabha tally, dealing a blow to the BJP, then led by Advani.

Advani, who almost resigned from the party when Modi was made head of the BJP election campaign committee last year, said he has never seen the party brimming with such confidence.

He thanked BJP president Rajnath Singh for elevating the Gujarat chief minister as the prime ministerial candidate.

"I want to thank the party president for his confidence that we will get a majority (in the Lok Sabha) and for announcing Modi as the prime ministerial candidate."

Advani added that he wanted to address the lack of trust in the BJP among the Muslim community.

"They know they have been used for votes, and no one did anything for them.

"Our party believes in integral humanism... We do not discriminate on the basis of religion, caste or language.

"Those who talk about majority and minority are those who want their votes. We want to work for everyone."

Advani also said there was nothing wrong in being ambitious. "High ambition isn't a crime in politics but low ambition is."

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