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BJP will open its account in State, says Mahajan

A Correspondent

`Party has failed to capitalise on its vote share'

NEDUMBASSERY: The Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pramod Mahajan has expressed confidence that his party will open its account in the State Assembly in the 2006 election.

Speaking to presspersons at the Cochin International Airport in Nedumbassery on Thursday, he said there was no lack of support for the BJP in the State, but the party had failed to translate its 12 per cent vote share into Assembly seats owing to the bipolar political situation in the State.

The party is now giving maximum attention to strengthen its base in the State. It is premature to talk of electoral strategies, including that of the approach to be adopted towards the National Congress (Indira) formed by K. Karunakaran, he said.

Regarding the allegations raised by the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) ally Indian Federal Democratic Party (IFDP) about the delimitation process which saw the Muvattupuzha Lok Sabha getting eliminated, Mr. Mahajan said the IFDP leader P.C. Thomas had the option of approaching the Delimitation Commission. He said the delimitation process may be important for individuals but not for a political party.

He said the decision to dissolve the Bihar Assembly had been taken to pre-empt the move of the NDA staking claim to form a popular Government in the State. He said the Bihar Governor, Bhuta Singh, had failed in his Constitutional obligation of exploring the possibilities of forming a government. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, and the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, were equally responsible for the constitutional crisis in Bihar.

Mr. Mahajan also denied the allegation that his party had engineered defections in the Lok Jana Shakti Party through horse-trading. He said that the LJP MLAs came out in support for the NDA as they were tired of the intransigent position adopted by their leader.

According to him, defection can be alleged only when a minority of MLAs owing allegiance to a party take a different course and cross over to another party. Some LJP MLAs came out in support of the NDA as they were tired of the intransigent position adopted by their leader. Party decisions are taken by a majority, he said.

He said the Assembly dissolution was symptomatic of "a long-term disease." They are waiting for an opportunity in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh to dissolve the Assemblies and would have even tried that out in Tamil Nadu but for the fear of a possible backlash, he said.

While urging the Election Commission to hold elections in Bihar at the earliest, he expressed the fear that the Centre which was responsible for ensuring security for the elections might play delaying tactics by not deploying sufficient forces. He predicted that in the ensuing elections, the NDA would garner absolute majority.

``The people of Bihar have realised that they can indeed defeat Lalu Prasad and there will be no possibility of public mobilisation in his favour in the next election,'' he said.

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