National Democratic Alliance parties resolve to contest next general polls under Advani

January 22nd, 2008 - 6:16 pm ICT by admin  

By Pankaj Yadav

New Delhi, Jan 22 (ANI): In a bid to give a renewed look to the National Democratic Alliance, the parties who call themselves “friends”, today held a “special meeting” at the residence of Lal Krishna Advanis and decided to contest the next general elections under his leadership.

Putting rest to speculations making rounds for quite sometime, they also decided to retain Atal Behari Vajpayee as chairman and George Fernandes as convenor of the alliance.

While Vajpayee kept away from the meeting because of health reasons, Jaswant Singh was absent because he had to attend an international conference in Kochi. But, the noticeable absentee was Mamta Banerjee.

Clarifying Trinamool Congress absence, NDA spokesperson Sushma Swaraj said that Dinesh Trivedi called her up last evening claiming that he would be attending the meeting, “but we have no clue why he didnt turn up”.

In the words Sushma Swaraj , the “specialty” of the meeting was that it was the first such meeting in which all NDA chief ministers, heads of all the constituent parties, and leaders in both the Houses viz Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, participated, No such NDA meeting has been held since 1999, the year the NDA came into being, she added.

Sushma Swaraj said that while the ruling UPA was an “alliance” of political parties, the NDA was a group of “friendly parties” as in some cases their association go back to at least two decades. Every party was free to devise its own manifesto, but “we will fight together having a common National Agenda for Governance”, she said adding “emphasis will be on expanding the NDA ahead of the next general polls”, which, according to her, will be held in 2008.

At the meeting, the NDA partners are learnt to have discussed the countrys current political situation and chalked out a common strategy for the next Lok Sabha polls. The NDA constituents unanimously resolved to work unitedly with a renewed vigour and to dislodge the “anti-poor, anti-kisan, corrupt, non-performing and internally paralysed UPA government”.

According to Sushma Swaraj, during the day-long meeting all NDA chief ministers vented out their common grievance against the Congress-led UPA government for “never coming forward with a helping hand in case of emergency”.

While Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said that the Centre did not allow him to sell rice at Rs 3 a kg, others accused the UPA Government of adopting a step-motherly treatment on issues like water and power.

Meanwhile, the NDA chief ministers, along with BJP president Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj, were scheduled to meet Vajpayee in the evening at 6 p.m.

Currently, ten states are ruled by NDA chief ministers, only one short of Congress ruling states. In elections held in the last six months, the NDA wrested three states — Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, from the Congress. The partys stakes are said to be high in most of the ten states going to polls later this year, barring Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which are presently ruled by the BJP. (ANI)

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