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Southern States - Andhra Pradesh

BJP fast losing friends, says Upendra

By Our Special Correspondent

VIJAYAWADA March 2. The results of the recent elections to the four State assemblies showed the disenchantment of people with the BJP and its allies and its impact would be felt on the NDA Government sooner than later, felt P. Upendra, former Union Minister and Congress leader.

Speaking to newspersons here today, he said that the Congress could win in three out of the four States revealing its growing popularity among the people and effective leadership provided by Sonia Gandhi. While the Congress is ruling 14 States, the BJP is in power in only three States. It was an irony of democracy that the BJP is ruling at the Centre while the Congress had to content itself with the Opposition party status.

He pointed out that all regional parties like the DMK, the Shiv Sena, and the Akali Dal who had allied with the BJP were made to bite the dust at the hustings. The Biju Janata Dal in Orissa and the Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana broke away from the BJP and fought local elections independently. They all realised that the BJP had become a liability. Even though the NDA constituents were sailing together due to their "lust for power," they would soon be overtaken by events and fall apart, he predicted.

The BJP-ruled Gujarat is witnessing communal clashes. He criticised the Gujarat Chief Minister for stating that he could understand the feelings of the people who resorted to communal violence.

The native constituency of the Union Home Minister, Ahmedabad, bore the brunt of the violence. He said that the BJP was hand in glove with the VHP in inciting people on communal lines.

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