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Social alliance gave NDA mandate: Jaitley

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
November 22, 2005 18:03 IST
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Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Arun Jaitley on Tuesday claimed that it was the social alliance of all the castes in Bihar that gave the BJP and the Janata Dal (United) unprecedented victory in the assembly polls.

Talking to newsmen at the party headquarters, Jaitley said the direct contest between the National Democratic Alliance and the Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance helped the NDA win more seats than it would have done otherwise had there been triangular contests in more constituencies. In such a scenario, Muslims and Yadav factor could have become decisive, he added.

Top leaders of the party, including Uma Bharti, Sushma Swaraj, Bihar BJP President Sushil Kumar Modi, former union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Shah Nawaz Hussain and party spokesman Prakash Javadekar, dropped in at the party headquarters to meet the newsmen.

Though they all evaded the question on whether or not the party would stake the claim for the deputy chief ministership, insiders said that names of several leaders, including Sushil Modi and Shah Nawaz Hussain, were already doing rounds and in fact both the leaders were canvassing for their own candidatures through various central leaders.

Bharti's proximity to Shah Nawaz is well known and so is Jaitley's close association with Modi.

"This is an issue that would be decided by the parliamentary board of the party," said Swaraj, who strongly advocated that the deputy chief minister should be from BJP as the party was number two in Bihar with 56 seats.

"We are meeting the JD(U) leaders later in the day to decide the modalities of the formation of the new government. We would complete the formalities in one day in which BJP MLA's would elect their leader. JD(U) would elect Nitish Kumar as its leader and then jointly we would elect Nitish Kumar as the leader of the NDA. All these meetings would be kept within a gap of one to one and a half hours. The leaders of the BJP and JD(U) would then accompany Nitish to meet the Governor and stake claim to form the government so that time and venue is fixed," Jaitley explained.

Complete Coverage: The Bihar Elections

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi