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Kalam consulting experts on hung Parliament

May 11, 2004 16:37 IST
Last Updated: May 11, 2004 16:54 IST

President A P J Abdul Kalam has set in motion the process of consulting constitutional and legal experts on the course to be pursued in case no party or pre-poll alliance gets a majority in Parliament.

Former Attorney General K Parasaran on Tuesday met the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan as part of these consultations.

The President has also had a meeting with former Chief Justice of India J S Verma. The last time when no party had emerged with clear majority was after the Lok Sabha election in 1998, President K R Narayanan had asked Atal Bihari Vajpayee as leader of the single-largest party and the largest pre-election alliance, whether he was 'able and willing' to form a 'stable' government, which can secure the confidence of the House.

According to the Rashtrapati Bhavan communique issued on March 15 that year, Narayanan noted that 264 MPs supported BJP-led government, which was short of the halfway mark.

However, when seen in the context of the Telugu Desam Party's decision of its 12 MPs staying neutral, the number was seen as adequate.

Another factor, which had helped the then President take his decision was his meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi who informed him that her party, the second largest formation in the 12th Lok Sabha, would not stake its claim to form a government as it did not have the necessary numbers.

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