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Rajnath: we will form government

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh on Thursday expressed confidence that the party would emerge as the single largest party in the new Lok Sabha and the NDA that it leads would get a majority or “near majority”.

“We do not have a plan B; for we are sure we are going to form a government,” Mr. Singh said when asked whether a younger leadership would emerge in the form of leaders of opposition in the two Houses in the event of the party not forming a government. “That question does not arise,” he added.

At the same time Mr. Singh confirmed that the party was in touch with some parties outside the NDA, including some former partners. “We are in contact with some other parties, including some old allies,” he said. With his own constituency Ghaziabad having gone to the polls on Thursday, Mr. Singh spent most of the time at home after a gruelling campaign.

BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley was asked a question or two on statements made by AIADMK and DMK leaders on the issue of supporting Eelam.

He said: “I will not speak on any controversial issue. Who knows whose support we may need after May 16?”

Mr. Jaitley refused to be drawn into any controversy even in relation to remarks made by Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh and Bahujan Samaj Party chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati. “It is not necessary for the BJP to react to every statement made by other leaders,” he said.

He said he would not go into the question of which party is likely to go with who after May 16.

“The results will clarify the situation. The Congress would have lost and the BJP would emerge as the winner of 2009.”

As for the issue whether the Left parties would eventually support the Congress, it was not a matter that concerned the BJP. “I can tell you we have not factored in the Left or the Congress in our calculations.”

With the fourth phase of polling ending on Thursday, most of the States where the BJP had high stakes – Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Orissa and Delhi – have completed polling.

What remains for the party in the last phase (May 13) is 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, nine in Punjab, four in Himachal Pradesh and five in Uttarakhand. It has very little or no stake in the 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and 11 seats in West Bengal that go to the polls in this phase.

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