M A I N   N E W S

INLD snaps ties with BJP
HVP, BJP may forge alliance
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Behrampur (Gurgaon), February 9
Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala this evening announced the snapping of the INLD-BJP alliance and his coming out of the NDA at the Centre. He launched a scathing attack on the Haryana unit of the BJP and the Vajpayee-led government at the Centre which he alleged acted against Haryana.

He emphasised that he would have no truck with the BJP even though Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had intervened.

He said his party was open to forging an alliance with any party or formation sans the Congress. He said his party was open to joining the third front. The future strategy of the INLD would be decided by its executive committee, which would be convened soon.

He said the INLD would have an alliance at the national level and not for specific states. The INLD would contest in other states, especially Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Chautala, who came here from Chandigarh, to attend a private function, said the INLD had nothing to do with the BJP and charged it with acting against his party and government.

He charged the state unit of the BJP of siding with the Congress by joining it in demonstrations and agitations against his government. He said the state BJP had played a negative role on the SYL canal issue.

He said in the interim Budget, aid and sops had been provided for 17 states but Haryana had been ignored. The Centre had also turned down Haryana’s proposal for setting up an engineering college after Kalpana Chawla.

Meanwhile, moves have started for an HVP-BJP tie-up in the state.

According to sources, Mr Chautala is contemplating recommending the dissolution of the Assembly and having elections in the state with the Lok Sabha poll.

Talks are on between the HVP and the BJP for sharing of seats for the Lok Sabha elections. Although the HVP is said to have demanded three of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana, the BJP is willing to part with only two. The seats wanted by the HVP are that of Bhiwani, Kurukshetra and Hisar. The BJP is willing to give only Bhiwani and Kurukshetra seats. The main negotiator from the BJP is the Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mrs Sushma Swaraj.

There are moves within the party to project Mrs Swaraj as the chief ministerial candidate in Haryana.

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