|N A T I O N|
Laloos Bihar turns
No bargaining on portfolios:
Lucknow: Congress candidate from Lucknow Lok Sabha seat Dr. Karan Singh glued to the television set to know the election results, in Lucknow on Wednesday. PTI photo
Naidu achieves hat-trick
Royprodhan wins for eighth time
Banatwala wins for sixth time
Only 7 ministers win in Karnataka
TDP non-committal on joining govt
SDF gets two thirds majority in
Sunil Dutt stages comeback after 4
Sex scandal spells doom for Kurien
BJP stand vindicated
Gehlot blamed for Cong defeat
BJPs bastion in UP crumbles
Sharad cool to coalition with Cong
HC directive in Tanwar case
Laloos Bihar turns saffron
PATNA, Oct 7 (UNI) The Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (United) combine is all set to make a clean sweep in Bihar pushing the ruling party Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress alliance to insignificance bagging 33 seats of the 43 declared so far.
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, an important force in the southern part of the state, failed to open an account to the Lok Sabha for the second successive elections.
The BJP had made a record by winning 21 seats, the highest tally for the party in the state. The party had been increasing its tally in the Lok Sabha for the past few terms from the state. The JD (U) had already bagged 13 and was hopeful of bagging a few more, including that of prestigious Madhepura.
Excepting the defeat of the five-time winner R.L.P. Verma from Koderma, the BJP has managed to get all its leaders elected to the Lok Sabha from the state this time.
Similar is the situation for the JD(U). The party had some anxious moment for party president Sharad Yadav from Madhepura against Rashtriya Janata Dal president Laloo Prasad Yadav and about the fluctuating fate of former Railway Minister Nitish Kumar. According to unofficial reports both Mr Yadav and Mr Kumar were now on the march towards victory.
The RJD received major setback in the states political history when its President Laloo Prasad Yadav was reported to be losing. A formal announcement was likely after the clearance by the election commission.
The states ruling party also faced serious problem in Banka constituency where its rebel candidate Girdhari Yadav was fighting neck and neck with JD(U) nominee and former Union Minister Digvijay Singh. The official RJD candidate Shakuni Chowdhury, who had won the last elections on the Samata Party ticket from nearby Khagaria and subsequently joined the RJD, was now struggling for the third position.
The Bharatiya Janata Party alliance victory threatened to change the political profile of Bihar, awaiting assembly election within the next six months.
Political observers feel the verdict in the current Lok Sabha poll would cast its shadow in the Assembly elections due next year.
The BJP has been inching into the RJD bastion gradually since the 1989 Lok Sabha elections. The party made inroads in South Bihar over the Vananchal issue, clinching five seats from the region. It, however, could not make a visible dent in north Bihar. Yet it was successful in eliminating the identity of national parties like the Congress and Janata Dal from the region.
The scenario started changing drastically in 1998 after the BJP allied with Samata Party a breakaway group of the Janata Dal.
During the 1998 election
BJP contested 32 seats and won 20 registering a 37 per
cent win. Its ally the Samata Party bagged ten out of 21
seats contested. The Samata Party polled 15.74 per cent
votes while the BJP netted 24 per cent votes.
No bargaining on
CALCUTTA, Oct 7 "I dont hanker after any ministerial post in Delhi. My main concern is how soon the Left Front Government in West Bengal with Mr Jyoti Basu as Chief Minister is dethroned and save people from the CPM misrule," the jubilant Trinamool Congress chief Ms Mamata Banerjee told The Tribune on the telephone.
Ms Banerjee said the Trinamool-BJP combine could have had more seats but that had not been possible because of large-scale rigging by the Marxists at several seats as well as the direct involvement of the state administration, particularly, some senior IAS and IPS officers in favour of the CPM, she alleged.
The Trinamool leader said they stuck to their earlier decision to join the government under Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. "But who will be our ministers in the new government will be decided at our standing committee meeting," she said.
Ms Banerjee disclosed that she would want the Trinamool Congress ministers to such departments which would help solve the acute unemployment problems in the state.
The Trinamool leader said they would not bargain on the question of portfolios and the effort would be to provide a stable government for five years.
The Trinamool Congress standing committee will be meeting at Ms Banerjees south Calcutta residence tomorrow to analyse the election results vis-a-vis their joining the new government, according to party president, Mr Ajit Kumar Panja.
Mr Panja said it was once again proved that the Trinamool Congress was the real Congress in West Bengal. He said some Congress MLAs and prominent party leaders had expressed their desire to join the Trinamool Congress but he would not divulge their names at this stage.
Meanwhile the CPM leadership has finally given up the hope of the formation of a third front with Mr Jyoti Basu as Prime Minister, writes the party mouthpiece, Ganasakti, Bengali daily published from Calcutta.
In the editorial today the paper said the result declared did not reflect that the mandate was in favour of the BJP. "It is the big monopoly houses and multi-national companies which for their vested interests bring communal forces to power," says the editorial. "These forces will soon be active against the working classes and countrys national interests," the editorial warns.
Mr Bapu, accompanied by Mr Sailen Dasgupta and Mr Biman Basu, two prominent leaders, leave for Delhi to attend the party politburo meeting tomorrow. "It is unfortunate that the BJP will be in the government", the Chief Minister remarked. He was, however, confident that the BJP-led 24-party government would not last for five years, which would necessitate another election sooner or later.
Repeal of Pressler Amendment flayed
NEW DELHI, Oct 7 (PTI) Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has firmly told the USA that repeal of the Pressler Amendment and resumption of military supplies to Pakistan would be viewed in India as a "very negative development".
"At this time, enabling legislation to provide military equipment to Pakistan will only be viewed by elements in Pakistan, who indulged in the Kargil misadventure, as a support and endorsement of their misguided policy," Mr Vajpayee cautioned in a letter to US Congressman Gary L. Ackerman.
Mr Vajpayee, who was responding to a letter by Mr Ackerman on developments in the US Congress related to the "Brownback Amendment", observed that any such move would necessarily have implications for public opinion in India.
"It will also complicate our efforts to build a normal and friendly relationship with Pakistan," he told Mr Ackerman.
Mr Vajpayees letter comes close on the heels of Washington urging both India and Pakistan to resurrect the Lahore process and resolve their differences bilaterally.
His remarks assume significance in the context of the upcoming visit to India of US President Bill Clinton early next year.
WASHINGTON: The US House-Senate Conference Committee today agreed to a waiver of the Pressler Amendment and other laws, paving the way for resumption of American arms sale to Pakistan.
The fiscal 2000 Defence Appropriations Committee report would authorise President Bill Clinton to waive certain economic curbs against India and Pakistan, including the ones imposed last year under the Glenn Amendment and the prohibition of US military sales to Pakistan mandated by Pressler, as well as other arms transfer prohibitions.
The provisions of the report, which now await the formality of adoption by the House-Senate Conference on defence appropriations, will also allow the US to sell arms to India and Pakistan, but will mostly benefit Islamabad.
The decision, seen as a
triumph for Pakistan, and neutralising the damage the US
image suffered in that country due to its stance on
Islamabads Kargil invasion, is believed to sweeten
the signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty for the
Nawaz Sharif government.
Naidu achieves hat-trick
TIRUPATI, Oct 7 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) superemo N. Chandrababu Naidu scored a hat-trick from the Kuppam Assembly constituency in his home district of Chittoor, defeating his Congress rival N. Subramanyam Reddy by a margin of 65,687 votes.
The TDP and its ally, the BJP, which trounced several Congress candidates in the state, however, suffered a setback in Mr Naidus home district Chittoor. Of the 15 assembly seats, the Congress bagged nine while the TDP won six.
Royprodhan wins for eighth time
CALCUTTA, Oct 7 (PTI) Amar Royprodhan of All-India Forward Bloc has earned the rare distinction of winning Coochbehar (SC) Lok Sabha seat for the eighth time in a row since 1977 a unique feat by any contesting candidate in West Bengal from one constituency.
The 65-year-old poll veteran, representing the Coochbehar (SC) seat uninterrupted for the eighth time, won by a margin of over one lakh votes against Ambika Charan Ray of Trinamool Congress. There was, however, a small drop in his winning margin of 1998.
Indrajit Gupta, CPI veteran and former Union Home Minister, registered his fifth successive win from Midnapore, though with a reduced margin this time. Gupta has been contesting from here since 1989.
Earlier, he had to his credit two consecutive wins from Basirhat in 1980 and 1984, besides having representation to the Lok Sabha from the erstwhile Alipur constituency in the city in 1967 and 1971.
Gupta tasted electoral defeat only once in 1977 when he lost to Ashok Krishna Dutta (Bhartiya Lok Dal) in Dum Dum.
Seven time winners from
same constituency include veterans like CPI leader Gita
Mukherjee from Panskura, Pradesh Congress leader A.B.A.
Ghani Khan Chowdhury from his bastion in Malda and
Basudeb Acharia (CPM) from Bankura seat all since
the 1980 elections.
Banatwala wins for sixth time
KOCHI, Oct 7 (PTI) The newly-elected MP from Palakkad, N.K. Krishnadas of the CPI(M), has scored a hat-trick, retaining his seat for a third time in a row.
Mr Krishnadas, who made his electoral debut in 1996 from Palakkad, defeated the Congress sitting MP, Mr V.S. Vijayaraghavan in 1996, and retained the seat in 1998 defeating the same opponent.
The Congress put up former state minister M.T. Padma this time to give him a fight and wrest the seat. But the ploy did not work.
Mr G.M. Banatwala of the IUML, a member of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), scored a hattrick a second time from Ponnani by winning with a margin of over one lakh votes. He defeated Mr Sunner of the CPI, who made his electoral debut.
DMK retained Muslim votes
CHENNAI, Oct 7 Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK leader, Mr M. Karunanidhi, is grinning like a cheshire cat; the AIADMK led by Ms Jayalalitha is down but not out. The BJP, until now a non-entity in the state, has gained more than a foothold. The Congress (I), which had suffered a complete rout in the 1998 elections, has recovered only marginally. The prospect of a Kamaraj rule in Tamil Nadu in 2001 projected by Mr G.K. Moopanar is at this stage a daydream, thanks to the decimation of Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC). The Pattali Makkal Kutchi (PMK) and MMDK led by Mr Vaiko, DMK's alliance partners, have re-established their influence, adding one more seat each to their tallies in the last elections.
This, in short, is the post-verdict scenario in Tamil Nadu where out of 39 parliamentary seats the DMK and allies have won in 26 constituencies, while 13 seats have gone to AIADMK alliance. The lone Pondicherry seat has gone to the Congress represented by former Chief Minister M.O.H. Farook. Individually, the DMK has secured 11 seats, while the AIADMK has managed to win ten seats. The BJP four, PMK five, MMDK four, Congress two, MGR DMK one, CPM (M) one, MGR Kazhagam one.
A beaming Mr Karunanidhi hailed the victory of DMK alliance as a rebuff to those who had sought to portray the DMK as anti-minorities and anti-Dalits. The Chief Minister, who telephoned the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, to congratulate him on the NDA victory in the elections, said the DMK front would decide the question of joining a NDA government at the Centre.
On the other hand, Ms Jayalalitha refused to accept that her party, which had held 18 seats in the dissolved Lok Sabha, had suffered a setback in the just ended elections. She charged the BJP in power at the Centre and the DMK in power in Tamil Nadu with having 'misused their authority and power in all possible ways to engineer an artificial poll verdict by massive poll rigging. "She said the elections in Tamil Nadu could not be considered to have been above board or as fair and free.
Ms Jayalalitha urged the Election Commission to institute necessary reforms to ensure fair and free elections in the future.
Among the highlights of the verdict were big victories for former DMK central ministers, Mr Murasoli Maran and Mr T.R. Baalu, the defeats of Mr Vazhapadi Ramamurthy, Union Petroleum Minister and leader of Rajiv Tamizhaga Congress, state Congress leader Mr Tindivanam K. Ramamurthy and Mr P. Chidambaram, former Union Finance Minister and TMC leader, and the utter rout of Dr Subramanian Swamy, who lost his deposit in the Madurai constituency.
The election results
showed that the DMK did not suffer any disadvantage as a
result of its alliance with the BJP, which many thought
would alienate Muslim voters. Corruption also did not
seem to be an issue for voters, considering the victory
of AIADMK candidate T.T.V. Dinakaran, facing FERA cases.
A question mark hangs over the progressive peoples front
formed by Mr Moopanar, in alliance with Puthia Tamizhagam
led by Dr Krishnaswamy and Dalit Panthers. The TMC and
its alliance partners failed to make any impact. Mr
Moopanar does not give instant reactions to events, and
is convalescing from a heart ailment for which he was
hospitalised recently. Changes in political alignments in
the wake of the outcome of the elections in Tamil Nadu
cannot be ruled out.
Only 7 ministers win in Karnataka
BANGALORE, Oct 7 (UNI) The strong anti-incumbency wave has virtually swept away all but seven ministers of the outgoing Patel ministry in Karnataka.
Those who could survive the debacle were Home Minister P.G.R. Sindhia (Kanakapura), Transport Minister B.N. Bache Gowda (Hoskote), and Agriculture Minister and Janata Dal (U) state chief C. Byregowda (Vemgal).
Revenue Minister B. Someshekar, Cooperatives Minister S.S. Patil (Mundargi), Public Works Minister Umesh Katti (Hukkeri), and Mines and Geology Minister A.B. Patil (Sankeshwar) were also among the fortunate ministers to enter the next assembly.
Battle-scarred Chief Minister J.H. Patel was the worst sufferer of the anti-establishment wave as he finished a poor third in his home constituency of Chennagari, which he had won four times in the past.
Mr Patel led the long list of ministers who bit the dust at the hustings. Prominent among them were Rural Development Minister M.P. Prakash (Hadagali), Irrigation Minister K.N. Nage Gowda (Kirugaval), Medical Education Minister Shankar Naik (Nelamangala) and Food Minister G. Basavanappa (Holehonnur). Mr Prakash could not swim against the Sonia tide in Bellary under which his assembly constituency falls as the Congress won all eight assembly segments.
Both women ministers, Women and Child Welfare Minister Vimlabai Deshmukh (Mudhebihal), who was involved in the only straight contest in the state and Kannada and Culture Minister Leeladevi R. Prasad (Athani) also could not survive.
The two presiding officers of the assembly too fell victims with Speaker Rameshkumar losing to his traditional rival Venkatshivareddy in Srinivasapura, while his deputy Chandrashekara Reddy Madana was knocked out by the Congress candidate in Sedam.
But what surprised the political observers was the shock defeats of BJP state president B.S. Yediyurappa (Shikaripur), and leader of the party in the dissolved house K.S. Eswarappa (Shimoga), falling under the Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency in which the Congress was victorious in six of the eight assembly constituencies with the BJP and an independent sharing the other two.
The lone members of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (K.S. Puttannaiah) and Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha (KCVP) in the dissolved House also could not make it again to the assembly from their respective constituencies of Pandavapura and Chamarajanagar. KRRS chief M.D. Nanjundaswamy lost in Manvi.
Meanwhile, outgoing Chief Minister J.H. Patel today blamed the partys poll debacle to improper seat sharing, confusion and infighting among the coalition partners.
He denied that it was a
reflection on the performance of his government.
"The result was unexpected to most political
parties", Mr Patel told waiting newsmen at Raj
Bhavan after submitting the resignation of the Council of
Ministers to Governor Khurshed Alam Khan. "We have
not done any harm to the state. We have taken decisions
in the interest of the state. But the achievements were
marred by internal trouble and accusations of trying to
pull down", he added.
TDP non-committal on joining govt
NEW DELHI, Oct 7 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) President N. Chandrababu Naidu today remained non-committal on joining the NDA government at the Centre.
Attributing the "Vajpayee factor" as one of the reasons for the resounding success of the TDP-BJP alliance, Mr Naidu said "as of now I am watching the results."
Asked if his party would join the new NDA government, he told a private TV channel: "I have to discuss with my party functionaries our future strategy".
Having already won 21 seats and leading in nine others, the TDP is likely to emerge as the fourth largest party in the 13th Lok Sabha.
He said his partys victory in the state assembly was on account of development works of his government.
SDF gets two thirds majority in Sikkim
GANGTOK, Oct 7 (UNI) The Ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) has romped home with a two-thirds majority in the 32-member Sikkim Assemly by bagging 22 of the 27 results declared today.
Headed by Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, the SDF has made a clean sweep in its strongholds of the other backward classes dominated south and west Sikkim. It also made a mark in the opposition Sikkim Sangaram Parishads bastion of the upper caste Nepalese dominated east Sikkim routing its arch rival in the state.
The SDF retained all seven assembly segments in south Sikkim, a repeat performance of the 1994 poll.
The party riding on its dream run has already bagged seven out of the nine assembly seats in west Sikkim. It had won six out of the nine seats in the district.
Lone woman nominee of the party wrested the Yoksum seat which was held by Congress backed Independent Ashoke Kumar Subba in 1994. The win also sealed the fate of former Congress Chief Minister Sanchaman Limboo (Subba).
Two results for the remaining two seats in west Sikkim are still awaited.
SSP chief and former Chief Minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari who was contesting from two constituencies, already won the Rhenock in the East District and fighting a neck-and neck battle in Soreng according to initial reports.
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling retained his home constituency of Damthang in south Sikkim for the fifth consecutive time romping home with a record margin of over 3000 votes against SSP candidate.
The SDF gained three tribal reserved seats of Rumtek, Martam and Assam-Linjey in east Sikkim, which the party wrested from the SSP. It however suffered a setback in the district, losing two seats to the SSP. State Health Minister Dr Dilli Prashad Kharel and State Finance Minister Ram Lepcha were defeated by SSP candidates in the Centarl Pendam-East Pendam and the Pathing tribal seat, respectively.
The party also retained two of the three tribal seats in north Sikkim. Power Minister Hissey Lachungpa and state Irrigation and PHE Minister Thinley Thsering Bhutia retained their respective assembly seats in Lachen-Mangshilla and Kabi-Tingda. At Kabi-Tingda former Forest Minister and state Congress Vice-President Thuckchuk Lachungpa was defeated for the second time in a row.
The National Party contesting all 32 assembly seats is yet to oppen its account. The party had won two seats in 1994, besides the Himalayan states unique monastic "Sangha" seat, the Congress had won the Lepcha dominated Dzongu seat in north Sikkim. The SSP made a gain by wresting the seat.
The SDF also gained in six seats five at the cost of the SSP and one independent. All five SSPs seats that the SDF wrested were tribal Bhutia Lepcha seats-Martam, Rumtek, Assam-Linjey and Ranka in east Sikkim and Tashiding in west Sikkim.
The SSPs gain was that of the tribal Lepcha heartland Dzongu constituency in north Sikkim and it wrested the Central Pendam West Pendam from the SDF in east Sikkim.
Prominent among those who faced electoral defeat were two time Lok Sabha member, working president of the SSP and wife of SSP supremo, Dil Kumari Bhandari. Mrs Bhandai had to face the humiliation of her second consecutive defeat in the assembly poll. In 1994 she lost in the south Sikkim trading town seat of Jorethang-Nayabazar. This time state Tourism Minister Garjaman Gurung humbled her in Temi-tarku in the same district.
Sitting ministers including state Education Minister Kedar Nath Rai (WAK), Welfare Minister Karna Bahadur Chamling (REGU), Food and Civil Supply Minister Tsenten Tashi Bhutia (Assam-Linjey), Urban Development Minister Tulshi Prashad Pradhan (Barmiok) and PWD Minister Dorjee Dadul Bhutia (Ralong) were all returned to the assembly.
Among the prominent
opposition leaders who lost the poll were SSP candidate
and Former Finance Minister O. T. Bhutia in Rumtek,
SSPs Padam Lal Gurung (Dentam) and State Congress
Working President and former Power Secretary Laxmi
Only one woman MP from TN
CHENNAI, Oct 7 (PTI) Tamil Nadu, with 39 seats, would again be sending a lone woman to the 13th Lok Sabha, AIADMKs V. Saroja, as it did during the 1998 poll.
Ms Saroja was returned from Rasipuram where she defeated her PMK rival S. Udayarasu by a margin of over 38,000 votes. In the 1998 poll, she had defeated DMKs K. Kandasamy.
The other two women candidates, both nominated by the DMK, however, lost. Ms Bavani Rajendran was defeated by former ias officer and AIADMK candidate K. Malaichamy in Ramanathapuram, while Ms Geetha Jeevan (Tirunelvelli) lost to AIADMKs former Assembly Speaker P.H. Pandian.
The Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), which sweared by 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and the state assemblies, did not field any woman this time despite contesting as many as 22 seats.
Sunil Dutt stages comeback after 4 yrs
MUMBAI, Oct 7 (UNI) Veteran film star Sunil Dutt, who was into a self-imposed exile from the electoral scene four years ago, staged a spectacular comeback when he wrested the prestigious Mumbai North-West parliamentary constituency, which he had represented for 11 years, from the Shiv Sena.
Mr Dutt defeated sitting MP and senior Shiv Sena leader Madhukar Sarpotdar by a huge margin of 80,000 votes. He polled 3,66,669 votes as against 2,81,130 votes of Mr Sarpotdar.
Mr Dutt first contested from the Mumbai North-West constituency in 1984 against noted jurist Ram Jethmalani and retained the seat in 1989 and 1991 as well. He refused to contest the 1996 Lok Sabha elections due to his son Sanjay Dutts arrest and subsequent detainment under TADA.
His critics said that he was heavily indebted to Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray for his personal intervention in getting Sanjay released on bail. However, Mr Dutt maintained that his loyalty to the Congress was unquestionable and his refusal to contest elections was purely personal.
When he announced his decision to contest the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, Mr Dutt said he felt the Congress needed him at this juncture and the state party leaders who would have "sabotaged" his win were no longer in the party.
Mr Dutt is not the only member of the Mumbai tinsel town to be elected as member of the Lok Sabha. Another noted actor Raj Babbar of the Samajwadi Party has been elected from the Agra parliamentary constituency.
Former macho man of
Hindi films Vinod Khanna has been re-elected from the
Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket. In the Rajgadh
Lok Sabha constituency Nitish Bharadwaj who shot into
fame with the role of "Krishna" is the BJP
Sex scandal spells doom for Kurien
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Oct 7 (UNI) For former union minister and Congress Chief whip in the dissolved House P.J. Kurien, who was defeated in the Idukki constituency in Kerala, nemesis came in the form of an 18-year-old girl, who was gangraped and became the famous Suryanelli sex scandal.
Idukki, which remained a fortress of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) eversince its inception in 1977 was written off by the Left Democratic Front as a rather unfriendly terrain. The Congress stalwart faltered and bowed to his LDF rival, Mr Francis George, by a margin of 9,298 votes, thanks to the scandal in which he happened to be the prime accused.
It was the first time that Prof Kurien, who represented Mavelikkara five times and Idukki once, tasted defeat. He had won from the same constituency with a thumping majority of 130,624 votes in 1984, the last time he contested there.
Despite all favourable factors the Congress bastion, the Christian dominated hill-belt, anti-minority attacks by the BJP, the likelihood of a Cabinet berth in the event of the Congress returning to power at the Centre, conservative Congress supporters and his services as a union minister for the agro-based constituency the girl poured water on the professors dream.
Alhough Prof Kurien had
maintained a lead till almost 80 per cent of counting,
the slender lead went in favour of Mr Francis George
(KC-LDF). The adverse poll verdict not only caused a dent
in the stronghold of the Congress, but also showed signs
of a shift of minorities from the Congress.
NEW DELHI, Oct 7 The BJP today claimed that its opposition to a person of foreign origin becoming the Prime Minister had gone down well with people and the election results in favour of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had vindicated their stand.
"Our stand that the country will not accept a Prime Minister of foreign origin has been vindicated and the Congress claim that there was an upsurge of support for the Gandhi family had been proved wrong", the BJP spokesman, Mr M.Venkaiah Naidu, said here.
Mr Naidu claimed that people had overwhelmingly supported the candidature of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, for another term.
Expressing satisfaction over the overall results secured by the BJP and its allies, Mr Naidu said the partys poor performance in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Karnataka would be reviewed in the days to come.
The party would ascertain the views of all people concerned, including the state unit representatives, and take appropriate corrective steps in the days to come, he added.
When asked if the BJPs tie-up with the Janata Dal (United) at the last moment in Karnataka had landed them in trouble, Mr Naidu said it had both positive and negative sides.
He pointed out that it was due to the tie-up with the JD (U) that the party had done so well in Bihar and had also managed to secure some additional seats in other states.
In Karnataka, the BJP and the Lok Shakti had been critical of the Janata Dal governments policies and the last minute tie-up with them had not been liked by people of Karnataka.
Mr Naidu asserted that the decision to strike an alliance with the JD (U) was a collective decision and there was no question of a regret.
He, however, admitted that the tie-up with the JD (U) had cost the BJP and the Lok Shakti dear in Karnataka.
Meanwhile, leaders of the BJP had an informal meeting at the Prime Ministers house this evening. Mr Naidu, however, said there was no agenda for the meeting and it was more in the nature of a courtesy call on the Prime Minister by the party leaders.
Gehlot blamed for Cong defeat
JAIPUR, Oct 7 Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appears to be in trouble after the stunning defeat of the Congress in Rajasthan in the Lok Sabha elections.
Party MLAs and workers are openly blaming Mr Gehlot for the reverses suffered by the party and say that his style of functioning and non-performance has distanced him from the workers and the same is reflected in the poll outcome. The Congress, party for the first time has been limited to a single digit victory in the state.
In February last year the party had surprised observers by capturing 18 of the 25 seats. The BJP was reduced to a humiliating figure of 5. In fact, the Congress tally for all practical purposes was 20 as Buta Singh (Independent) and Sheesh Ram Ola (Congress-S) both successful candidates from Jalore and Jhunjhunu were former Congressmen who returned to the party subsequently.
Later in November the party maintained its advantage by capturing two thirds of the Vidhan Sabha seats snatching power from the BJP after a period of 8 years. As both the elections were fought by the Congress under leadership of Mr Ashok Gehlot, who was PCC Chief then, he was awarded the office of CM.
Against last years strength of 20 the party has now been reduced to 9. While the BJP has moved up to 16 its largest tally yet.
Mr Gehlot is now trying to pass the buck by citing Mr Atal Behari Vajpayees speeches in Rajasthan assuring OBC status for Jats. "It was unethical of the part of Vajpayee to have made such a committment on the eve of election", he says. The CMs opponents however do not subscribe to his lame explanation.
Would an opponent make speeches as per dictates of Gehlot party workers ask and say that in fact it is his style of functioning and non-performance which has distanced people from the party.
That the voters honeymoon has ended even in his own home constituency is evident from the fact that only ten months ago, though he had won from Jodhpur the party candidate this time was routed by a margin of 1,13,297 votes.
Mr Gehlots detractors re-collect the CMs statement at a workers conference prior to the Lok Sabha election in Jaipur that every MLA and party office-bearer would have to pay the price if the partys performance did not come up to the mark in their respective areas. By this logic Mr Gehlot should be the first to have to pay as not only has the party been humiliated but he has not been able to get a lead for the Congress candidate even in the Jodhpur Assembly segment which he had won with a margin as 50,000 votes.
BJPs bastion in UP crumbles
LUCKNOW, Oct 7 (PTI) The Congress, BSP and Samajwadi Party today continued to make significant strides in Uttar Pradesh bagging among themselves 30 Lok Sabha seats out of the 60 results declared so far giving a big jolt to BJP which won 26 seats.
The Congress, which was wiped out in the state in the last parliamentary elections and could save security deposits of its candidates in only six constituencies, won five seats and was marching ahead in five others.
The BSP, with nine seats in its kitty, was leading in four constituencies, while the SP, which emerged triumphant in 16 seats, was leading in nine.
The BJP, which reaped a rich harvest of 57 seats in 1998, had won 26 seats and was ahead in only five constituencies.
In her family pocketborough of Amethi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had established an unsurpassable lead of 65,000 votes over her BJP rival Sanjay Singh.
In neighbouring Rae Bareli, Capt Satish Sharma of the Congress was ahead of his rival.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav humbled Capt Bhupender Singh of BJP by 1.16 lakh votes in Sambhal. The result from his second constituency Kannauj was awaited.
Veteran Congress leader N D Tewari romped home from Nainital trouncing Balraj Pasi (BJP) by over one lakh votes.
Other notable winners in the state include Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee (Lucknow), Union Ministers Murli Manohar Joshi (Allahabad), Maneka Gandhi (Pilibhit) and Santosh Gangwar (Bareilly) besides former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar (Ballia) and cinestar-turned-politican Raj Babbar (Agra).
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (BJP) bit the dust in Rampur, while former Union Minister Arif Mohammed Khan (BSP) and former cricketer Chetan Chauhan (BJP) lost from Bahraich and Amroha, respectively.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh today owned "full moral responsibility" for the poor showing by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha elections in the state.
Even as results from a few constituencies were awaited Mr Singh told a crowded press conference here, "as the head of the government in the state, only I am responsible for this defeat and we have accepted this as a challenge.". "Its me and only me and no one else," he added.
The downcast Chief Minister, who is rushing to New Delhi tomorrow, said, "I will accept any decision of the BJPs central leadership as a disciplined and committed soldier of the party." He, however, refused to elaborate.
Asked whether he would offer to quit, the Chief Minister said evasingly," I am going to Delhi to congratulate the senior leaders of the party who have won the elections."
Admitting that the results were in sharp contradiction to the expectations, Mr Kalyan Singh said the party would analyse the poll outcome constituency-wise and identify the deficiencies.
He refuted the
suggestion that the partys performance at the
hustings could be attributed to infighting. "The
entire state apparatus of the party worked in tandem and
efficiently in the run-up to the polls," he
Sharad cool to coalition with
NEW DELHI, Oct 7 With the results of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly pointing towards a hung House, the role of Sharad Pawars Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) assumes significance. But his attitude indicates the stalemate may not be resolved easily.
As per available trends, no party or combine has been able to secure a simple majority in a House of 288, with the Shiv Sena-BJP combine touching 125 with expected support from at least three Independent MLAs. Requiring 145, the BJP-Shiv Sena combine needs the support of at least 20 more MLAs.
Discounting talk of a possibility of the Congress, which has 83 seats, joining hands with the NCP, which has 69 seats, to form the next coalition government, the NCP President, Mr Sharad Pawar said that so far no one had contacted him in this regard.
Mr Pawar, said here today that he has called a meeting of his newly-elected MLAs in Mumbai tomorrow and future strategy would be chalked up after talking to them.
He said the issue of the Congress Presidents foreign origin was still alive and that the NCP would not alter its stand nor support the Shiv Sena-BJP in the formation of the next government.
statement by Mr Suresh Kalmadi, who claimed today that
several NCP MLAs were in touch with the Congress, Mr
Pawars statement should come as a dampner. Mr Pawar
said as far as formation of the next government in
Maharashtra was concerned, he would not take any
HC directive in Tanwar case
NEW DELHI, Oct 7 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today asked an association of lawyers here to approach the trial court to raise any objection to the CBIs final report in the murder probe of Dr Surinder Tanwar, one-time personal medical consultant of former Congress President Sitaram Kesri.
A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice S.N. Variava and Mr Justice S.K. Mahajan, said the petitioner, the All-India Young Lawyers Association (AIYLA), which challenged the CBIs closure report in the case, was at liberty to appear before the city Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) to contest whether it should be accepted or not.
"The report is before the CMM and it is his jurisdiction to take further action on it" the Bench observed.
Challenging the report, counsel of the AIYLA Kamini Jaiswal alleged the report was an "eyewash" as the CBI "failed" to do justice with the investigation into the murder.
She said the agency did not question former Internal Security Minister Rajesh Pilot, who on December 26, 1997 had written a letter to then Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda requesting for the CBI probe into the case. "The least CBI should have done to confront the letter to Mr Pilot," she said.
Dr Tanwar was brutally murdered in last week of October 1993 and severed parts of his body were recovered from many places in a South Delhi colony.
|TNCC(I) criticises diesel
MADURAI: The Centre should consider withdrawing the hike in diesel prices as it would affect the trade, industry and the common man badly, the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TNCCI) suggested on Thursday. In a memorandum to the government, a copy of which was released to the press here, the chamber president, Mr S. Rethinavely, said the price hike would lead to increase in the prices of all essential commodities. PTI
Sabotage led to train
for Puja festival
2 Shiv Sena men
Bail denied to
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