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|October 8, 1999||
NDA meeting reiterates commitment to NAG
The Telugu Desam Party today formally extended its support to the National Democratic Alliance government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
In a letter addressed to Vajpayee, the TDP president Chandrababu Naidu said he had sent a separate communication to President K R Narayanan duly conveying this decision of the TDP.
Copies of the letter were circulated to newspersons by the convenor of the Coordination Committee of the NDA George Fernandes after an hour-long meeting at the official residence of Vajpayee. The meeting was presided over by the prime minister.
Briefing newspersons, Fernandes said the NDA looks forward to having all those who were part of its election campaign to be part of the government.
Asked if the TDP's decision to keep away from the NDA government might lead to instability, Fernandes said there was no need to worry about stability and that Naidu's letter is sufficient. Vajpayee and Home Minister L K Advani had separately spoken to Naidu over the phone, he disclosed. The defence minister said the TDP was one of the mainstays of the government last year and early this year.
Replying to questions, Fernandes said no economic issues were discussed at today's meeting.
The meeting expressed its gratitude to the people and the electorate for the mandate given to the NDA. The meeting made known its commitment to the people to fulfil the National Agenda for Governance and give stability and effective government for the next five years.
The Coordination Committee also recorded its appreciation of the leadership provided by Vajpayee during the campaign and efforts put in to bring this magnificent victory.
Fernandes claimed that the NDA has got a strength of 300 in the Lok Sabha. He did not give the break up. Elections to five constituencies, including four in Bihar, are yet to be held. ''We are confident of winning all the four Bihar seats,'' he added.
It is after 28 years that an incumbent prime minister has received a renewed mandate, he pointed out.
The meeting noted that on a broad average the NDA had registered victory in 60 per cent of the seats contested. Today the NDA represents the entirety of India with almost all states and sections of people rallying behind it.
The NDA will be meeting again at 1630 hours on October 10 in the Central Hall of Parliament to elect Vajpayee formally as its leader.
Those who attended the meeting are Home Minister L K Advani, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, Information and Broadcasting Minister Pramod Mahajan, Industry Ministry Sikander Bakht, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P R Kumaramangalam and Kushabhau Thakre (all BJP), Commerce Minister Ramkrishna Hegde and Defence Minister George Fernandes (Janata Dal-United), S Ramdoss (Pattali Makkal Katchi), Vaiko (Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), Karunanidhi and Murasoli Maran (DMK), Prakash Singh Badal and S S Barnala (Shiromani Akali Dal), K Ramamurthy (Tamizhaga Rajiva Congress), Chouba Singh and Maneka Gandhi (Independents), Suresh Prabhu (Shiv Sena), Om Prakash Chautala (Indian National Lok Dal), Steel Minister Navin Patnaik (Biju Janata Dal), Sukh Ram (Himachal Vikas Party), Sharif Din Sharif (National Conference), Naresh Agrawal (Loktantrik Congress), Trinamool Congress representative Bikram Sarkar and MGR ADMK's Thirunavukkurasu.
The Mizo National Front's Zoramthanga and the Sikkim Democratic Front's Pawan Chamling could not attend the meeting due to unavoidable reasons.
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