Modi defends decision to 'drop' sitting MLAs

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Gandhinagar, Nov 19 (UNI) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today strongly defended the party decision to ''drop'' sitting MLAs in its first list of 74 candidates and said the change was ''natural'' and there was no question of ''downsizing'' anyone.

In an informal chat with reporters here today at his residence, Mr Modi said the tickets allocation had been decided by the Parliamentary Board of the party.

He said anyone who was given the party nomination, had to work for five years and, thereafter, change was natural.

Commenting on pre-poll surveys, Mr Modi remarked that there was a ''need to do a survey on such surveys as their results are always questionable''.

Asked about the higher number of women nominations for the 2007 elections, Mr Modi said his party wanted more involvement of women. ''Today there are more than 7,000 women at different levels in the party. Their active participation in decision-making process is also necessary,'' he said.

''You will see higher number of MLAs in the 12th Gujarat Assembly,'' Modi said.

He claimed that his party would win with a thumping majority and the new government would be formed by December 28.

UNI

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