NDA CMs meet to discuss 2008 poll strategy

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New Delhi, Mar 29 (UNI) A meeting of NDA chief ministers began here today to take stock of the development programmes in their respective states and to work out their poll strategies to encounter coming assembly polls and a possible Lok Sabha election during this year.

The CMs will also work out the ways of defeating the Congress led UPA government after it disarmed the Opposition with its Rs 60,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme in the Union Budget, thereby snatching away all important issue like farmers suicides and indebtedness.

Although they have sought to belittle the waiver as of no consequence to even farmers owning marginally bigger land holdings in rainfed zones compared to small holders in irrigated areas.

The meeting will last till 1400 hrs and an official briefing is scheduled to be held later in the day.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Orissa Chief Minister Navin Patnaik attended the meeting while Bihar is represented by its Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi from the states ruled by NDA allies.

The BJP chief ministers attending the meet from states that are facing elections are Shivraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh), Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan) and Dr Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh).

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and P K Dhumal (Himachal Pradesh) and Maj Gen B C Khanduri(Uttarakhand) also attended the meeting. They appear to be concentrating their efforts to face the Lok Sabha polls.

The waiver was not going to help the majority of farmers who have taken loans from private money lenders as only those availing loans from nationalised banks and farmers credit cooperatives will benefit, the party said.

Inability of the government to check prices and inflation level standing at 6.8 per cent is one issue which the NDA can use as a stick to beat the UPA.

Almost all the prices of essential commodities had risen taking away the good feeling generated by high growth. The prices of petroleum products had been hiked several times during the UPA regime without giving any reliefs on imports, the party added.

The leaders may also consider the ways of exploiting the sentiments of stock market crash which crippled millions of individual investors causing a loss of nearly Rs 10,000 crore during the present month alone.

Those who attended by the meeting included BJP president Rajnath Singh and senior party leaders Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, M Venkaiah Naidu and S S Ahluwalia. Mr Uddhav Thackeray of Shiv Sena also attended the meeting.

UNI MCN SP DS1340

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