Jaitley launches website against Pratibha Patil


New Delhi : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday intensified its campaign against Pratibha Patil, launching a website and releasing a booklet on its allegations on the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential candidate.

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As part of the campaign, the party summoned its most articulate and acceptable face, party general secretary Arun Jaitley, to repackage and publicise the charges.

Jaitley launched a website www.knowpratibhapatil.com at a press conference at the residence of former BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu.

It also released a 60-page A-4 size booklet with glossy paper containing all the recent news stories and commentaries in the media against Patil. It was titled "A compilation of reports and articles appearing in the media about the life and work of Smt. Pratibha Patil".

The occasion saw many senior BJP members and sympathisers like the Pioneer Editor Chandan Mitra, former personal secretary to Giani Zail Singh, Tarlochan Singh, Sudheendra Kulkarni and Rajkumar Sharma who served in the Prime Minister's Office under Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other notable BJP members rallying around to mobilise support for Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who is contesting as an independent supported by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Also present was N.D. Patil, the BJP man from Jalgaon who has been carrying on this campaign on his website www.reportindia.com the day the UPA announced Pratibha Patil's name.

Speaking on the occasion, Jaitley said: "Even though the people do not elect the rashtrapati (president), they have a right to know whether the likely winner is worthy of becoming the head of state of the world's largest democracy. They need to know whether the person embodies the lofty ideals enshrined in the Constitution of India, of which he or she will be the custodian."

Putting all the charges against Patil on the doorstep of the media, the BJP general secretary said: "A spate of scandals and controversies that the Indian media, both print and electronic, have exposed, casting Smt. Patil as a person wholly unsuited to occupy the highest constitutional office in India."

Patil is charged with financial impropriety and with shielding her brother in a murder case.