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NDA will attend swearing-in if it is not Sonia

Gargi Parsai

Tuesday 18 May 2004, by PARSAI*Gargi

NEW DELHI, MAY 18. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) today decided not to carry out its threat of boycotting the swearing-in ceremony of the new Prime Minister if it was someone other than the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi.

After an "extraordinary meeting" chaired by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the NDA convener, George Fernandes, said the withdrawal of the threat depended on who would become the Prime Minister. "The NDA has no quarrel if it is someone other than Sonia Gandhi."

He said if Ms. Gandhi had taken a decision earlier not to become the CPP leader, there would not have been any reason for a boycott.

"How can a person who changes her mind so many times in a day be made the Prime Minister. How will she take important national decisions?" He maintained that even if Ms. Gandhi did not remain the CPP leader, her foreign origin would remain an issue "which needs to be tackled."

Earlier, he read out a resolution passed at the NDA meeting, which said that the results of the 14th general elections were fractured and that no single party or pre-or post election alliance had won the mandate of the people. "The need of the hour is for constructive and coordinated policy formulation and efficient implementation."

The resolution said the NDA was committed to playing its due role as a responsible and responsive alliance inside and outside Parliament.

It bowed to the mandate and accepted the fact that it did not have the requisite numbers for forming a government and had declared that it would not make any attempts towards the same.

The resolution placed on record its appreciation of Mr. Vajpayee’s leadership and said history would judge the NDA Government’s achievements.

Mr. Fernandes said that at the first meeting of the NDA after the elections, there was a preliminary review of the results. Another special meeting would be convened soon for a more detailed analysis.

The meeting was attended by BJP leaders Venkaiah Naidu, L.K. Advani, Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and V.K. Malhotra, Janata Dal (United) leaders Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav, the Biju Janata Dal leader, Arjun Charan Sethi, the Nationalist Trinamool Congress leader, P.A. Sangma, the Akali Dal leader, S.S. Dhindsa, and the Shiv Sena leader, Chandrakant Khaire.

See online : The Hindu

P.S.

in The Hindu, Thursday, May 18, 2004.

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