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Vajpayee to address two rallies in Punjab

March 09, 2004 16:05 IST

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will address two political rallies at Patiala and Jalandhar, or Ludhiana depending on the schedule, later this month, former chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal said on Tuesday.

The prime minister would visit the state between March 18 and 20 and would be accompanied by senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharati.

The son of former prime minister I K Gujral, Naresh, an Akali Dal candidate from Jalandhar, will campaign for the party, Badal said.

When asked about party leader Sukhbir Badal's presence at a Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala's rally, he said, "Since it was not a poll campaign, but a function to celebrate completion of four years of rule by Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana, there was nothing wrong in Sukhbir's attending the function on the invitation of his friend Ajay Chautala."

Chautala's INLD recently severed ties with the National Democratic Alliance. Akali Dal, however, continues to be a member of the ruling coalition.

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