Poll panel should organise debates between leaders: Advani

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Friday suggested the Election Commission organise public debates between leaders of various political parties on key issues during the election campaign.

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2010, 18:33 PM IST

Patna: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Friday suggested the Election Commission organise public debates between leaders of various political parties on key issues during the election campaign.

"The Election Commission should organise public meetings for debates on issues during the election campaign," he said, addressing a rally in Bhagalpur town constituency, which goes to polls Nov 1 in the fourth round of the six-phase elections to the Bihar assembly.
Instead of a BJP public meeting or a Congress or a Lok Janshakti Party public meeting, there is a need for debate among the leaders of different political parties, Advani said, adding: "This could give new life to debate on poll issues during the election campaign."

Referring to ongoing polls in Bihar, Advani said there should be a debate between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is chief ministerial candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and Lalu Prasad, the chief ministerial candidate of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) alliance.

"It will provide an opportunity for people to listen and decide whom to support," he said.

Targeting the Congress and the RJD, he said Bihar was ruined during the 15-year reign of Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi from 1990 to 2005.

"RJD chief Lalu Prasad has only derailed Bihar," Advani said.
Advani also sought to refute Congress president Sonia Gandhi`s remarks that the Bihar government failed to utilise the funds sent by the central government for development schemes. "The central government funds were not Congress party funds, the funds were fully utilised," he said.

This was Advani`s third rally in Bihar during the ongoing elections. He had addressed a rally at Bettiah in West Champaran district Monday before the third round of polling was held Thursday and the first at Motihari in East Champaran district Oct 19 before the first round of voting held Oct 21.

Results of the elections to the 243-seat state assembly will be declared Nov 24.

IANS