PM office reduced to a 'bargain counter', alleges BJP

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New Delhi, July 17 (UNI) The NDA today accused the UPA Government of reducing the Prime Minister's office to a 'bargain counter'.

Briefing newspersons after an NDA Chief Ministers meeting held at NDA's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani's residence here this evening, BJP spokesman Arun Jaitley made this remark when asked about the reports of concessions being offered to some quarters to win support of MPs by the UPA Government to survive the confidence vote to be held on July 22.

Mr Jaitley said the meeting, which discussed the strategy to be adopted by the NDA constituents on July 22 to throw out the four-year-old Manmohan Singh Government, said the NDA was united and would vote against the government.

He, however, refused to divulge the strategy, saying these things were not revealed publicly.

He said while the NDA was united in number to vote out the government, the UPA numbers were slipping out fast.

Refuting all reports regarding the Akali Dal that it might abstain on the day of voting, Mr Jaitley said the NDA was united, including the Akali Dal. Akali Dal president and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had been quite categorical on the matter, asserting that his party would stand by the NDA and vote against the Government.

Mr Jaitley said the efforts of the NDA would be to focus on the issues confronting the common man and the nation, like price rise, inflation, farmer's plight, food crisis, internal security and foreign policy rather than concentrating only on the Indo-US Nuclear Deal on which the NDA had a consistent stand that it would take away the country's nuclear autonomy.

Replying to a question, the BJP leader regretted that the Prime Minister's Office and 'continuation of the government' had been reduced to a 'bargain counter'.

The NDA would ensure that the elections were held in the country at the earliest once this Government lost the trust vote, he added.

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