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PM rules out early Lok Sabha polls

December 04, 2003 16:42 IST

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Thursday ruled out early Lok Sabha elections in the wake of the Bharatiya Janata Party's impressive performance in the elections to four state assemblies.

The BJP has wrested three states -- Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh -- from its main rival, the Congress, in the elections. The Congress retained Delhi.

Vajpayee said the party's stunning performance was unexpected. "Hum ko bhi aisi asha nahi thi. Hum logon ne socha tha do-do ayega [We didn't expect this. We thought it would
be two-two]," he said.

The prime minister was speaking to reporters on board a special aircraft before leaving for Abuja in Nigeria.

On speculation if his government will call an early general election to cash on the purple patch that the BJP has hit, the prime minister said: "Still one year is left."

He said in the assembly elections the BJP focused on people centric issues like power and roads. "Nobody mentioned
mandir and masjid," he said.

Asked whether it was a negative or a positive vote, he said: "Satta main rahne ka labh bhi hota hai, ghata bhi hota hai [there is both advantage and disadvantage of being in power.]


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