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NDA agrees to fight general election under Advani
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | January 22, 2008 16:31 IST
Last Updated: January 22, 2008 22:17 IST
The National Democratic Alliance on Tuesday decided to contest the next Lok Sabha polls with a common strategy and programme under the leadership of Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Lal Kishenchand Advani while seeking guidance from former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who will continue to be the NDA chairman.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of NDA parties at Advani's residence.
They adopted a resolution moved by NDA convenor George Fernandes [Images] where the parties vowed to dislodge 'the anti-poor, anti-kisan, corrupt, non-performing and an internally paralysed UPA government' and secure a decisive mandate for the NDA in the next elections, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said.
The meeting was attended by all parties barring the Trinamool Congress. National presidents of the NDA parties, leaders of the parties in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and all chief ministers of the NDA-ruled states were among those present, Swaraj said.
With this the speculation regarding the NDA accepting Advani as its leader had come to an end. Swaraj has been given the responsibility of coordinating with the NDA parties. Vajpayee and Fernandes will take a back seat for all practical purposes while continuing to be the key figures of the Opposition coalition.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Benerjee did not attend the meeting.
Swaraj claimed TC leader Dinest Trivedi had called her on Monday night to express his willingness to be present in the meeting. "But he did not come and I will get in touch with him to find out the reason," she said.
Asked why the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is reluctant to accept Advani's leadership, she dismissed the theory as merely an invention of the media.