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Vajpayee, Naidu meet at Puttaparthi

By Our Staff Reporter

PUTTAPARTHI, FEB. 12. The Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was given a warm send-off by the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, at Sri Satya Sai airport here today. Mr. Vajpayee spent almost 16 hours in the spiritual town.

Mr. Vajpayee had general darshan of Satya Saibaba for 45 minutes and special darshan for 15 minutes last evening. Along with Mr. Naidu, Mr. Vajpayee participated in general darshan of Saibaba at the Sai Kulwanth auditorium for 75 minutes in the morning. They also sought his blessings and participated in the devotional chanting of bhajans.

The Prime Minister, along with his entourage, left for New Delhi in the special IAF aircraft at 10.25 a.m. Several TDP and BJP leaders, besides senior police and revenue officials, were present during the send-off.

Last night, Mr. Vajpayee and Mr. Naidu had a one-to-one meeting. Though there was no definite information about what transpired during the hour-long meeting, it is learnt that they had mainly discussed strengthening the NDA in the State and ways of containing the Congress elsewhere in the country.

Seat-sharing between the TDP and the BJP, particularly at a time when State leaders of the BJP are demanding more seats this time, was also said to have figured in their discussion. The BJP had contested 24 Assembly seats and eight Lok Sabha seats during the last elections though the party was allotted 25 Assembly seats. Mr. Naidu is learnt to have asked the Prime Minister to release the pending Central funds.

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