The National Democratic Alliance on Saturday authorised Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to discuss the upcoming presidential election with its constituents and opposition parties, according to Defence Minister and NDA convenor George Fernandes.
Briefing reporters following a meeting of the NDA partners at Vajpayee's Race Course Road residence, Fernandes said that the Alliance had also authorised the prime minister to discuss the matter with allies like the Telegu Desam Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, which support the government from outside.
Fernandes said Gujarat had come up for discussion during the meeting. It was decided that NDA MPs would visit the state and initiate efforts to establish peace, especially in those areas, which had suffered the maximum violence.
However, the defence minister said Vajpayee had not made any special reference to Gujarat.
Asked whether the issue of Cabinet reshuffle had been discussed, he said: "It is the prerogative of the prime minister."
Among those who attended the meeting was Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, he said.
Asked whether Banerjee had made any observations on Gujarat, the NDA convenor declined to comment.
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