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All out efforts for seat sharing between BJP, JD(U): Fernandes

PTI

Sunday 14 March 2004

Bangalore, Mar 14 (PTI) Even as the BJP remained lukewarm to his party’s overtures for an alliance in Karnataka, Defence Minister and JD(U) President George Fernandes today said all out efforts would be made for seat-sharing between the two parties for the coming Lok Sabha and assembly polls.

"Talks between the two parties are not yet concluded. There is going to be a meeting again tomorrow. We will make all out efforts", he told reporters tonight, within hours after telling JD(U) workers that they would contest from 10 Lok Sabha and 95 Assembly constituencies as it did in 1999. Fernandes, however, added that if the seat-sharing pact failed to materialise, "then there will be no option but to go it alone". "Hopefully, things will be sorted out". He said the 95 Assembly and 10 Lok Sabha seats JD(U) contested in the 1999 polls "are our seats. We fought these last time". Asserting that the party had not weakened in Karnataka, he said, "the idea of the party having lost its strength is not a saleable one". "If some people had quit, some had joined also. If leaders quit, it is not that the party has lost. We have the same strength as during the last poll". In his address to party workers, Fernandes had announced that his party would contest 95 assembly and 10 Lok Sabha seats, a statement, he said, was in reply to a BJP leader’s assertion that his party would go it alone in Karnataka. BJP leaders at the central and state levels have repeatedly maintained that they would go it alone in Karnataka, where the party sees a "realistic possibility" of coming to power.

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Outlook India, PTI, March 14, 2004.

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