Debating India

’Desertion of erstwhile allies spelt NDA’s doom’

Sunday 16 May 2004

JALANDHAR: Shiromani Akali Dal president Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday said the NDA may have secured majority in the just concluded Parliamentary elections had all its erstwhile allies been with the coalition.

"If NDA would have contested the election with the same partners with whom it had contested in 1999, it may have been able to get majority," he said.

It was imperative to get back into its fold the INLD, DMK and NC, which had quit the alliance, Badal said spelling out his views on the NDA’s debacle.

"I will put my views on the issue in the coming meeting of the NDA. Even earlier, I had suggested to senior leaders the need to bring back our old partners."

Hailing SAD-BJP victory in Punjab, where it won 11 of the 13 Lok Sabha seats, Badal termed it as a "referendum against" the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government’s policies.

The former chief minister said Amarinder had "no moral right" to continue in office, "as people have already expressed their feelings against his government".

Asked what had led to the defeat of veteran Akali leader and SAD general secretary Kanwaljit Singh at the hands of the Chief Minister’s wife Preneet Kaur from Patiala, Badal alleged that the state machinery and unfair methods had been used to make her victorious.

On the party’s affairs, he said the process of SAD’s organisational election would be completed by May 31, for which former speaker and newly elected MP Charanjit Singh Atwal had been appointed as chief returning officer.

See online : The Times of India

P.S.

in The Times of India, Sunday, May 16, 2004.

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