Tuesday, January 25, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BJP, BJD talks inconclusive
Bihar People’s Party not to contest

NEW DELHI, Jan 24 (UNI, PTI) — The ongoing talks between the BJP and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on seat-sharing for next month’s Assembly elections in Orissa remained inconclusive today.Leaders of both parties held two rounds of talks with Union Home Minister L.K. Advani here today. They plan to meet again tomorrow.

Working president of the BJD, Bijay Mahapatra said after the meeting that the talks were progressing well, “We hope to clinch the issue soon.’’

Orissa BJP President Manmohan Samal was confident of coming to an amicable understanding in this regard.

The state Assembly has 147 seats. The BJP wants that the seats be shared based on the last parliamentary elections where the BJD fielded 12 candidates and won nine whereas the bjp won all nine seats it contested. The BJP said the seat-sharing should be 77 for BJD and 70 for the BJP. However, the BJD was insisting on 100 seats, leaving 47 for its partner. The BJP leaders met at Minister of State for Surface Transport Debendra Pradhan’s residence to chalk out their strategy for tomorrow’s meeting.

The BJD was represented by Mines and Minerals Minister Navin Patnaik, spokesman Prasanna Acharya, Ms Nalini Mohan, Mr Rama Krishna Patnaik and Mr A.U. Singh Deo. The BJP was represented by Mr Jwal Oram, Minister for Tribal Affairs, General Secretary Prasanna Misra, leader of the BJP in the Orissa Assembly, Mr Biswa Bhushan Harichandan, and BJP General Secretary in charge of Orissa, Mr Pyarelal Khandelwal.

Meanwhile, a report from Bhubaneswar, at least 10 candidates, including Janata Dal (Secular) Rajya Sabha member Sanatan Bisi and two sitting JMM MLAs, filed their nomination papers on the opening day of the filing of documents for the first phase elections to the Orissa Assembly.

Mr Bisi filed his papers for Rairakhol (SC) seat in Sambalpur district while sitting JMM MLAs George Tirkey and Mansid Ekka filed their documents from their old constituencies Biramitrapur (ST) and Raghunathpalli (ST) in Sundargarh district.

Another JD(S) candidate, Akrura Sahu, filed his nomination from Talcher (SC) seat. The rest six aspirants are Independents.

PATNA: Ruling RJD supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav and state BJP heavyweight Sushil Kumar Modi were among the 326 candidates who filed their nomination papers on the last day today for the February 12 first phase of election in the 108 Assembly constituencies of Bihar.

With reports from many Assembly segments still to come, the total number of aspirants is expected to go up further than the initial 454.

Election office sources here said Mr Yadav filed his paper from Danapur where 12 others also joined in the fray.

Mr Modi, leader of the opposition in the state Assembly, filed his papers from Patna Central.

Besides Mr Yadav and Mr Modi, prominent among others, who filed their papers for the first phase of the elections, were Congress leader of the Assembly Ramashray Prasad Singh (Konch), former BPCC president Sarfraz Ahmed (Gandey), Congress nominees M.K. Sinha Patna-West) and Arvind Choudhury (Dhanwar).

The Bihar People’s Party (bpp), however, refused to contest the Assembly poll and Samata Party leader Nitish Kumar terming the seat allocation as “injustice” to his party.

“We have written to Home Minister l k advani that we will not contest the Assembly poll at all and not even campaign for any party. We will just sit at home,” bpp President Anand Mohan told reporters here today.

He said while “big brother” bjp’s claim for 183 seats was scaled down by 20 per cent and the Samata Party’s stake for 90 remained unchanged, the bpp with its “rightful claim” for 41 seats was offered only 20 seats. “Instead of sacrificing 50 per cent we are sacrificing all the seats,” he said.

Asked if he would reconsider his decision if the bjp and its partners were eager for a compromise, he said the party’s working committee would meet at Patna tomorrow and if there was any such offer, it could be discussed there.

He said it was not the first time that bpp’s claim had been ignored.

In his reaction to the allotment of 90 seats to the Samata Party, Mr Kumar said it was “far short of our expectations. It is an injustice keeping in view the party’s mass-support, but we will abide by the decision”.

LUCKNOW: Notification for the February 17 byelections to one Lok Sabha seat and eight Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh was issued on Monday by the Election Commission.

This marks the beginning of filing of nominations for the Kannuaj Lok Sabha seat and the Vidhan Sabha seats of Shahabad-SC (Rampur district), Pilibhit, Unnao, Pratapgarh, Gauri Bazar (Deoria), Patiali (Etah), Thana Bhawan (Muzaffarnagar) and Nakur (Saharanpur district).

The model code of conduct will be in force in 11 districts as the Kannauj parliamentary seat is spread across three districts of Kannauj, Etawah and Aurraiya, state Chief Electoral Officer Noor Mohammad said.

All major political parties barring the Bahujan Samaj Party, have announced their candidates. According to the schedule announced by the Election Commission, the last date of filing of nominations is January 31 and the last date of withdrawals is February 3.

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