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Dinners in Delhi, UPA, NDA lay out a spread

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | July 20, 2008 22:36 IST

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The capital witnessed two seperate dinners where the who's who of Indian politics gathered to decide whether the government would stay or fall, leading to elections ahead of schedule.

While the prime minister threw a grand party for the United Progressive Alliance's supporters at the Ashok Hotel

L K Advani had to remain content with hosting his guests at the Parliamentary annexe.

While the prime minister's party was in full swing with some MPs choosing to come late, The Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies called it a day early by finishing off the dinner by 8 pm.

Advani in his address told the party men and his colleagues from other allied partners that they would come to power.

Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Shourie, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu were some of the prominent leaders who attended the National Democratic Alliance's dinner.

Two Akali Dal members did not show-up for the dinner but their absence was made up for by Kuldeep Bishnoi and Harish Nagpal.

Bishnoi claimed that he had been offered Rs 100 crore to abstain during the trust vote. "On Friday evening I was approached with an offer of Rs 100 crore to abstain from the trust vote. I was also offered a ministership in return of supporting the nuclear deal," Bishnoi told media-persons.

Asked whether he will be joining the NDA, the son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal said, "I have decided to vote against the UPA government but as for joining the NDA, I will decide it later".

Additional Reportage: PTI

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