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|March 23, 1998||
BJP-HVC combine stakes claim in Himachal
The Bharatiya Janata Party-Haryana Vikas Congress combine has staked a claim to form the government in Himachal Pradesh.
BJP legislature leader P K Dhumal and a few MLAs met Governor V S Rama Devi at Raj Bhavan and conveyed that the combine should be invited to form a government.
The governor had recommended President's rule following the resignation of the Virbhadra Singh ministry on March 12.
The Congress and the BJP-HVC alliance each have 32 MLAs in a 68-member House, having an effective strength of 64 members.
Meanwhile, the Janata Dal accused the BJP of repeating the 'Uttar Pradesh game' in the state.
Dal spokesman Mohan Prakash said it was surprising that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee turned down the HP governor's advice to impose central rule. He claimed the BJP-HVC combine staked claim for government formation banking on 'luring' MLAs from other parties.
Similar tactics were adopted by the BJP in UP to muster a majority for the Kalyan Singh government -- the party managed the feat by giving 'kickbacks' to MLAs, he alleged.
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