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Congress `desperation' shows, says Naidu

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, MARCH 14. The TDP president, N. Chandrababu Naidu, who strongly believes that coalition Governments have come to stay at the Centre, has challenged the statement of the AICC president, Sonia Gandhi, that the days of single party rule will return before long.

Joining issue with the Congress leader, he said Ms. Gandhi's attempts to forge alliances with smaller parties ran contrary to her statement. He recalled that the Congress had taken a firm stand at its Shimla conclave not to hanker after forming a coalition Government only to reverse it later.

Addressing a meeting of functionaries of the TDP's legal cell at NTR Bhavan here today, Mr. Naidu said this reversal was forced by the stark realisation by Congress leaders that they could never win on their own. Things had come to such a pass that Ms. Gandhi was visiting homes of even those leaders who had only two or three members in Parliament.

The AICC general secretary, Ghulam Nabi Azad, had no second thoughts in calling on the leader of a sub-regional party, the TRS, for the sake of a handful of seats. However, parties like the SP and the BSP wanted no truck with the Congress exposing the "pitiable state'' in which it was currently in. It would not be surprising if the Congress party's sphere of influence was restricted to a few States making it like any other regional party.

Describing the upcoming elections between the forces of "dharma'' and "adharma,'' he said people would support only those parties which were willing to solve their problems and not those indulging in political games. He flayed Ms. Gandhi for not uttering a word against the Karnataka Government which had steadfastly refused to release water from Almatti for drinking purposes in AP.

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