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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 July, 2005, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
BJP denies Advani pressed to quit
LK Advani with Shaukat Aziz in the prime minister's house, Islamabad
Mr Advani's visit to Pakistan sparked controversy back home
India's main opposition BJP has denied reports that its party president, LK Advani, has been asked to resign by an influential Hindu nationalist group.

A party spokesperson said that Mr Advani would complete his tenure as president, which ends in 2006.

There have been reports that the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) had pressed for his resignation.

It was angered by comments he made about Pakistan's founder father, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, on a recent trip.


The BJP has close ties with the RSS, which provides it ideological backing.

BJP spokesperson, Sushma Swaraj, confirmed RSS leaders had met party leaders to talk about the "ideological erosion" that had taken place in the recent past.

The RSS said it objected to BJP leaders "flirting" with ideas that questioned the basis of its formation and existence.

Analysts say tension between the two groups began after the recent visit by Mr Advani to Pakistan during which he described Jinnah as secular.

The comment angered many political leaders in India, particularly the RSS, as Jinnah is viewed as the man responsible for dividing India along religious lines.

Mr Advani had been considered one of the more hardline members of the Hindu nationalist BJP.

Last week, an Indian high court ordered Mr Advani to stand trial for his role in the demolition of a mosque in the northern town of Ayodhya in 1992, which sparked religious riots across India.

He is accused of inciting Hindu zealots - a charge he denies.

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