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February 2, 2002
1254 IST
Updated at 1354 IST

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BJP stands by NDA agenda on Ayodhya

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday stood by the NDA agenda on the Ram temple issue - favouring a solution through mutual dialogue among the concerned parties or a speedy court settlement acceptable to all.

However, state unit chief Kalraj Mishra maintained that the Ram temple remained a cultural issue connected with the beliefs of the people.

The BJP's election manifesto for the Uttar Pradesh assembly election, released on Saturday, promises to bring a Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) type law in the state and take steps to identify illegal Bangladeshi migrants and deport them.

The other salient features of the manifesto include stern action against those giving shelter to anti-nationals, providing employment to 150,000 youths in the next three years and bringing transparency in the functioning of the government.

The party also pledged to bring the chief minister under the purview of the Lok Ayukt.

The manifesto promises making declaration of income and property mandatory for all elected representatives (nine days after being elected) and total transparency in government decisions.

It promises to modernise the police force, construct one million rural houses in the next five years and connect all villages (with a population of 500) by road by 2007.

Insurance cover for agriculture equipment and animals, free books for girl students up to class eight, bringing the state on top in the field of information and technology and cleansing the Ganga, Yamuna and Gomti rivers, were also among the promises made in the manifesto.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday dared the Samajwadi Party and Congress to clarify their stand with regard to their promises of rebuilding the mosque at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

If the two parties fail to fulfil their promise, there is no reason for the people to believe them, Singh said.

Singh denied that the BJP would enter into a post-poll alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to form the government and ruled out any post-poll alliance in the state.

In another development, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK), a key constituent of the ruling NDA coalition at the Centre, ruled out any dilution or change in its stand on the Ayodhya issue and appreciated Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for taking a firm position on the temple issue.

Speaking to reporters in Chennai (Tamil Nadu), DMK president M Karunanidhi said that he refused to even discuss the Ayodhya issue with VHP leaders who had sought an appointment with him.

More reports on UP poll

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