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Advani: snap polls certain early next year

Special Correspondent

“UPA government will not last its full term”



L.K. Advani

PATNA: Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and senior BJP leader L.K. Advani on Wednesday predicted snap polls in the first half of 2008.

“If there is anything certain, it is that the UPA government will not last its full term [till 2009]. Polls to the Lok Sabha will surely be held in 2008 and most probably in the first half.”

“Those who created the situation are aware that they’ll not fare well in the event of snap elections and are now trying to avoid them,” the former Deputy Prime Minister said.

Earlier, speaking at the felicitation of octogenarian Kailashpati Mishra, Mr. Advani said that till about two months ago he had ruled out early elections. But the change in the situation was the natural fallout of an ‘alliance’ between opposite poles. “They don’t see eye to eye on economic issues and on foreign policies.”

The only thing they had in common was the determination not to allow the BJP and the NDA to come to power.

Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar ridiculed the manner in which the UPA and its partners sought to avoid snap polls. “Till yesterday we read that elections were a certainty and today’s papers tell us that they had agreed to put on hold their differences till October 22.”

He charged that the government was living on borrowed time. “The sooner this government goes the better. People should be given the opportunity to elect a new government.”

Mr. Kumar accused Railway Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad of running away from the electorate. “He is raising hands in unity with Mr. A.B. Bardhan and Mr. Sitaram Yechury. Mr. Prasad is desperate to avoid elections. I challenge him to agree to face an election.”

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