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Unable to reach consensus, NDA defers decision

NEW DELHI: Strong reservations from key ally JD(U) over pitting a candidate against UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday forced the NDA to defer its decision on the Presidential election.

At a two-hour inconclusive meeting of the NDA, the JD(U) is believed to have not favoured a fight against Mr. Mukherjee because of his stature. However, the BJP is said to have been keen on backing former Speaker P. A. Sangma, who has been propped up by BJD and AIADMK with an eye on the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

After the meeting at BJP leader L.K. Advani’s residence, from which the Shiv Sena kept away, NDA convener Sharad Yadav merely said more discussions were needed to arrive at a right decision.

“The NDA meeting took place today. Various leaders put forth their views in detail. More discussions are required in this regard to arrive at the right decision.

“L.K. Advani will talk to Chief Ministers of NDA-ruled states and all others. NDA will meet sometime later again to take a decision in this regard. Those outside (Delhi) will also be consulted,” Mr. Yadav told reporters after the meeting.

The JD(U), which shares power with the BJP in Bihar, was clear that there is no strong purpose served by contesting against Mr. Mukherjee, a tall leader with vast experience in government and Parliament, and more so when the UPA has a clear edge in the electoral college.

However, BJP leaders including Mr. Advani and Sushma Swaraj are understood to have argued that Mr. Mukherjee should not go uncontested, especially in view of the Lok Sabha polls due two years hence.

The BJP is said to be keen on supporting Mr. Sangma so that the alliance can rope in parties like BJD and AIADMK that could be valuable in the next Lok Sabha elections. — PTI




Saina Nehwal wins Indonesia Open

JAKARTA: Saina Nehwal won her third title in Indonesia, beating Xuerui Li of China 13-21, 22-20, 21-19 in the Super Series Premier event in Jakarta on Sunday.

Saina got the better of her gritty opponent for her second title in as many weeks. She had won the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold in Bangkok last Sunday. — IANS




India may ask European partners to come
up with quick solutions

LOS CABOS, Mexico: As G-20 leaders meet in the shadow of an ailing global economy and lingering Eurozone crisis, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to ask the European partners to come up with swifter solutions so that the economic growth of emerging markets like India is not trapped under its adverse impact.

With global anxiety rising, Singh, who has attended all the previous six summits since it was launched in Washington in 2008, along with US President Barack Obama is expected to prod European leaders to give world markets some confidence.

Singh and Obama have already agreed on the importance of steps to strengthen the resilience of the global economy in response to persistent risks in the Eurozone and elsewhere and on focussing on measures to boost global growth.

Obama made a telephone call to Prime Minister Singh on Thursday, a day after the India-US strategic dialogue, essentially to talk "about coordinating efforts" leading into the G-20 Summit in this Mexican resort town.

While Obama, Singh and other non-European G-20 leaders press for a quick-fix by the 17-nation Eurozone, it may not be a smooth sailing in the wake of reservations expressed by German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel, the leader of Europe's largest economy, has vowed to resist pressure for a quick Eurozone recovery. According to Merkel, Europe must tackle its problems "at the roots" by lowering debt and increasing economic competitiveness.

While the Eurozone crisis is expected to keep the G-20 leaders engaged at the two-day Summit starting tomorrow, it is unlikely that the dip in economic growth in emerging markets like India and China will come up at the multilateral parleys.

India and China are traditional drivers of the world economic growth. It is highly unlikely for the G-20 to point out that the Indian economic growth is losing steam and that it should take necessary measures to restore the economy on the growth path.

India recently became the latest developing economy to see its once breakneck growth slow sharply as it recorded its slowest expansion in almost a decade.

The economy expanded at an annual rate of 5.3 per cent in the three months to March, from 9.2 per cent in the same period last year, as the agricultural and manufacturing sectors were hit by sharp slow down.

With that, it joined the Brazilian and Chinese economies, both of which have shown signs of slowing in recent months.

Host nation Mexico has already said that the most important topic of the summit is how to promote economic recovery and growth.

The members of the G-20 include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Turkey, UK, US and the European Union.

Singh and other world leaders are also expected to work for a coordinated response to deal with the Eurozone problems.

"It is imperative that the G-20 countries work in coordination to implement policies that promote sustained growth," Singh said ahead of the G-20 summit.

Singh will also travel to the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday for the Rio+20 Summit against the backdrop of growing challenges of economic degradation before returning home on Saturday after an overnight halt at Pretoria in South Africa.

The outcome of the meeting of the five-nation BRICS countries on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit tomorrow is also been keenly awaited. — PTI





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