Mid-term polls imminent, says Naidu

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Dehra Dun, Sep 30: Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu today claimed that mid-term elections looked a certainty and would take place before March next year.

Addressing the media, the former BJP president said with the possibility of the mid-term polls looming large, the party all over the country would start a poll campaign very soon.

He said there had been instability in the country in terms of governance due to the UPA government and his party's foremost agenda would be to provide stability to the nation.

Various announcements being made by UPA government and organisational changes in the Congress were a clear indication that the ruling party also believed that the elections were in the offing, he emphasised.

Mounting a verbal diatribe on the coalition government for its bid to put off the polls further, Mr Naidu said, ''Tamasha zyada din nahin chalegi (The drama would not last long)''. More announcements of sops were expected from the UPA government but, he asserted, the last-minute announcements would neither yield any dividends nor carry any credibility.

He said apart from the stability factor, the saffron party's other poll issues would be inflation, internal security, pathetic condition of farmers, increasing unemployment and appeasement policy of the UPA government.

He, however, announced that the Ram Mandir would not be on the party's agenda. ''Nevertheless, my party supports construction of the mandir,'' he asserted.

Asked about the Sethusamudram Project, Mr Naidu said he admitted that project was given the nod by the NDA regime. He, however, declared that any insult to Lord Ram on pretext of the project would not be tolerated by his party.

Skirting a question on the party's prime ministerial candidate for the next general elections, Mr Naidu said, ''There is no problem of leadership in the BJP. It will be declared when the right time comes.'' Commenting on the political scenario in Karnataka, Mr Naidu said the BJP and its ally in the state would complete their remaining 20-month tenure without any hassles.

Mr Naidu was here in the Doon Valley to participate in Convention of BJP State Council to ratify officially the election of State Chief Bacchi Singh Rawat.

Prominent among those who attended convention included Chief Minister Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri, new state BJP chief Bacchi Singh Rawat, former state party president Bhagat Singh Koshyari and former chief minister Nityanand Swami.

UNI

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