BJP ready to form coalition govt
Bharatiya Janata Party president Lal Kishinchand Advani says his party is, in principle, in favour of forming a coalition government at the Centre with its electoral allies.
Talking to the media in Madras on Saturday morning before
emplaning for Tirunelveli where he is scheduled to address the
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's conference, Advani said the modalities for such an arrangement, however, could be decided only in the post-election scenario.
Asked about AIADMK general secretary Jayalalitha Jayaram's assertion
that her party would stake its claim to be part of a BJP-led
government at the Centre, Advani said:"We are not against it."
He, however, ruled out a common manifesto for the BJP-led front.
The BJP leader said his party had sought alliances with regional
parties including the Akali Dal and the AIADMK with a view to bridge
"the artificially-created social and geographical divide" against the
"We have now obliterated the allegation that the BJP is a
North Indian party by aligning with the AIADMK and bridged the
divide between the Sikhs and the Hindus by retaining our alliance
with the Akali Dal in Punjab and Delhi," Advani said.
"The stigma that the BJP is an untouchable has been overcome
thanks to these alliances," he added.
Asked about the possibility of an alliance with Mamata Banerjee's Trinamul Congress in West Bengal, Advani said, "negotiations are still on. We have not closed the doors."
He refused to comment on Sonia Gandhi's decision to campaign
for the Congress and the impact it would have on the outcome of
the election, saying, "it is not worth commenting upon."
Advani said he planned to discuss the number of seats the AIADMK and BJP will contest in Tamil Nadu with Jayalalitha at Tirunelveli. "If time permits, I will definitely talk to Ms Jayalalitha about the number of seats which
the party wants. We are in regular touch with the AIADMK. The talks will be continued by the local leaders in case there is no time today," he said.
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