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We will consult allies on PMK re-entry: PM

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, JULY 28. The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, was today lavish in his praise for the party president, Mr. Jana Krishnamurthi, on two counts: he had tried to learn Hindi, and he had given valuable suggestions for norms for re-entry into the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

After the day's deliberations ended, Mr. Vajpayee first commented on Mr. Krishnamurthi's effort in making his presidential speech in Hindi, adding that he had learnt the language very quickly. And later, speaking to reporters outside the venue of the national executive committee meeting, he appreciated his suggestion that there should be ``norms for re-entry'' of NDA constituents who had left the coalition and were now trying to come back.

The Prime Minister seemed relaxed while answering questions from reporters, till he was asked about the Unit Trust of India (UTI) muddle and ministerial responsibility, when he began looking distinctly uncomfortable.

He was asked what his comment was on the allegations that the former UTI chairman, Mr. P.S. Subramaniam, had made investment decisions on the advice of the Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha. ``Do you believe that man?'' Mr. Vajpayee shot back, and then walked away from the glare of television cameras and the group of reporters.

But before that he volunteered: ``the PMK has not yet formally joined the NDA'' and he would be ``consulting all parties concerned''. The matter would also figure at an NDA meeting before the formal entry of the PMK, he added.

He was happy with the BJP president's suggestion that norms should be framed for ``re-entry'' of constituents who had earlier left without provocation for ``their own purposes'' as Mr. Krishnamurthi had said yesterday, and were now trying to ``re- enter the NDA'' (and bargaining hard for ministerial berths as well).

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