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We will form next govt at Centre: Congress
April 26, 2004 18:59 IST
Buoyed by the exit polls after the second phase of Lok Sabha election projecting ruling National Democratic Alliance suffering further reverses, Congress on Monday claimed it would form the next government at the Centre and would not require the support of either the Bahujan Samaj Party or Samajwadi Party for this.
"We are going to form the next government at the Centre. We believe firmly that Congress and its allies would be getting absolute majority and I don't think we would be needing the support of either BSP or Samajwadi Party in the formation of government, party spokesman S Jaipal Reddy told reporters.
Pooh-poohing the claim of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that BJP-led NDA would be winning at least 300 Lok Sabha seats, he said Vajpayee, who began his career as an opposition leader, would end his career as an opposition leader.
"The prime minister who had earlier rubbished exit polls was now maintaining modest claim of NDA winning 300 seats. I would, therefore, say that BJP began the campaign with bluster and now end up in fluster," Reddy said.
He said the NDA, which was 'celebrating' following the huge positive projections of the exit polls after the first round of polls, 'have now have made a somersault', realising that it has lost the ground.
Commenting on the projections of the exit polls, Reddy said Congress had always opposed it maintaining that they were not dependable tool on the plea that India is a vast and diverse developing country and it was not possible to evolve a scientific policy to capture the mood of the people.
He said though the party was not 'exulting' over exit polls after the second phase of polling, its own assessment was 'much more than what have been projected'.
Asked about party strategy, as neither of the two coalitions would be getting majority, he said the party was of the view that it along with its allies would be getting majority to form the government.
About the leadership issue, he said Congress chief Sonia Gandhi herself had stated that alliance partners would take a decision on the matter after the polls.
Reminded that party ally in Maharashtra and NCP chief Sharad Pawar's statement that it is not the number, which would decide as who would be the leader of the Front, Reddy said, "In our view, Pawar is a stable ally."
Asked whether Left parties were natural allies, Reddy said, "We consider that the Left can be a potential post-poll ally."
About Samajwadi Party, Reddy said Congress was contesting against the SP.
To a specific question that SP chief Mulayam Singh had conveyed to CPM leader H S Surjeet that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's and NDA convenor George Fernandes' statements were to 'malign' his party and that there was no truth in it, Reddy said no such message has been conveyed to the Congress.