Sunday, March 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

PM to meet NDA leaders
Deadlock on RSS issue
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, March 4 — The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, has begun efforts to find a way out to end the deadlock in Parliament over the Gujarat Government’s order lifting the ban on its employees participation in RSS activities.

With the Opposition, led by the Congress, stalling proceedings in the Lok Sabha over the last one week demanding that the Centre prevail over the Gujarat Government to withdraw the controversial order, the Speaker, Mr G.M.C. Balayogi, on Thursday told the Prime Minister to take the initiative in resolving the imbroglio.

As a first step towards this end, the Prime Minister has convened a meeting of leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) here on Monday to discuss the situation.

The meeting assumes importance as several partners of the NDA, including the Telugu Desam Party, the Indian National Lok Dal, the Samata and the MDMK have urged the BJP to find an amicable solution to the Gujarat issue as in the event of the Opposition moving a censure motion they would not be in a position to come out openly in support of the BJP-led Government.

Realising the dilemma within the NDA, the Congress has been adamant in demanding that the issue be discussed under the Rule 184 so that voting could be done. Congress leaders have been insisting that they would like the country to know the view points of various parties on the RSS.

Realising that a defeat on the floor of the House would make the government morally bound to resign, the BJP has now been trying to have a general discussion on the issue.

The Prime Minister has to do some tight-rope walking as he cannot afford to annoy the RSS constituency in the Sangh parivar and nor can he afford to disappoint the NDA partners.

The BJP has been of the view that the Gujarat Government’s decision had been taken up by the State Assembly and the Centre had no role in it.

Mr Vajpayee it is understood has also initiated informal talks with various Opposition leaders and a final strategy would be worked out after the meeting of the NDA on Monday.

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