Congress not averse to post-poll ties with BJD, says Azad

April 12th, 2009 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhubaneswar, April 12 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Sunday indicated that his party is not averse to a post-poll alliance with the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).
“No regional party in the country with secular credentials can think of going with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Instead of its crusade against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the BJD must crusade against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA),” Azad said.

“After the elections, the UPA will form the government and secular forces are going to come together. I am not saying the BJD is not a secular party,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister told reporters here.

He said the BJD led by Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should have snapped its ties with the BJP during the communal violence in Kandhamal district last year.

At least 38 people were killed in the violance after the killing of Hindu leader Swami Laxmanananda and his three associates in Kandhamal district in August 2008.

Azad said his party was hoping to win the Orissa assembly elections.

“You will see the result. The BJD-BJP government in the state has not done much to alleviate poverty. In the last four years, Orissa has not spent Rs.4.36 billion given by the central government on account of the National Rural Health Mission,” Azad alleged.

He added the state has not spent Rs.2.8 billion of the total amount provided by the UPA government on account of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Azad said lack of transparency and improper utilisation of funds under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme were fuelling migration from the state.

Talking about the national scenario, he said the congress was expecting to win 280 seats in the Lok Sabha elections.

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