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|September 30, 1999||
NDA is not an alliance, says Congress
With five days to go for the general election results, the Congress today stepped up its campaign that the National Democratic Alliance should not be construed as a pre-poll alliance and that the leader of the single largest party in the Lok Sabha should be invited to form the government.
The NDA is not a pre-poll alliance and even its election manifesto was released on August 14 with no mention of the constituents by the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal said in New Delhi today.
Two constituents of the NDA, the Samata Party and Lok Shakti, had merged with the Janata Dal (United) and the BJP had entered into an alliance with that party three days after the manifesto was released, he pointed out. Moreover, this seat adjustment was limited to Karnataka and Bihar.
Sibal recalled BJP general secretary K N Govindacharya's statement that the JD-U would formally join the NDA only after the election.
He also referred to the Trinamul Congress manifesto which made it clear that it is not part of the NDA.
The BJP, like the Congress, has entered into state-level seat adjustments with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, JD-U in Karnataka and Bihar, and Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab, he said.
"The alliance [NDA] is an artificial respiratory system solely with a view to petition the President for an invitation to form the government," he said.
But the JD-U said President K R Narayanan should keep in mind the stability aspect before inviting the single largest party to form the government in the event of a hung Parliament.
Party spokesman Mohan Prakash said it was the Congress that had initiated the debate without even knowing if it would retain its current strength in the Lok Sabha.
The party probably wanted to keep up the sagging morale of its workers in the final phase and mislead the public with its claim that it is in a position to form the government or even start pressurising the President, he added.
Prakash said the President should invite the group that could provide a stable government and the NDA would certainly be able to form the government.
He pointed out that it was the Congress that had claimed before the President that it had the support of 272 MPs and then failed to muster the numbers after the fall of the NDA government.
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