Monday, October 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

NDA allies were consulted on hike: BJP
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Oct 1 — The BJP today said the issue of hike in oil prices had been discussed both at the Cabinet meeting and the meeting of NDA partners.

Responding to questions on the resignation of Trinamool Congress leaders from the Cabinet, party Vice-President Mr K Jana Krishnamurthy, who briefed mediapersons about the meeting of the BJP national executive held here today, said the decision was taken after due discussion.

While announcing her decision to resign, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had said yesterday that despite being a partner in the NDA, her party was not consulted over the oil price hike. The TDP leader, Mr Chandrababu Naidu had also expressed resentment over the hike in the oil prices.

Mr Krishnamurthy, however, said the issue of Ms Banerjee’s resignation was not discussed at the BJP national executive meeting which was attended by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Home Minister L.K. Advani and BJP President Bangaru Laxman.

Petroleum Minister Ram Naik explained the meeting about compulsions behind the government’s decision. Mr Krishnamurthy hoped that the NDA partners would see the context in which the hike had been made.

Held in the backdrop of BJP’s poor showing in the civic elections in Gujarat, the national executive meeting discussed the political and electoral situation in the states going to the polls in a few months. Mr Krishnamurthy said party leaders from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, West Bengal and Assam presented preliminary reports.

In his address, Mr Vajpayee called for strengthening coordination between the party and the government. Mr Advani said the party’s Nagpur session had carried forward the call made at the 1996 Bhopal session to reach out to sections which had stayed away from the party. He said from being a pressure group in the days of the Jana Sangha, the party had come to occupy the place of the Congress.

Mr Laxman, in his remarks, said the conviction of former Prime Minister P.V. Narsimha Rao should not be looked as conviction of an individual but the entire Congress and its culture of resorting to every corrupt means to cling to power. “The Congress might try to disown or distance itself from Mr Rao to salvage some of its lost moral ground,” he said.

Extending the party’s condolences to those killed by floods in West Bengal, Mr Laxman said the havoc caused by floods had once again highlighted the misrule of the Left Front government. “Although the floods are the result of the nature’s fury, the damage has been aggravated by the criminal neglect of flood-control measures by the state government year after year,” he said.

The resolution, passed at the national executive meeting congratulated Mr Vajpayee on effectively giving voice to India’s views at the recent millennium summit of the UN. It termed Mr Vajpyee’s visit to Washington as “a defining moment in Indo-US relations.”

It expressed appreciation for Mr Vajpayee for ably steering country’s foreign and security policies. It congratulated the NDA government on “the highly successful” completion of one year in office. “The last one year had been a glorious example of scam-free, tension-free governance,” it said.

Mr Krishnamurthy said BJP workers would hold rallies and meetings between October 14 and 20 to highlight the successful completion of NDA government’s one year in office.

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