Govt playing politics in Malegaon probe; talks with BJP on: Ajit

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New Delhi, Nov 24 (UNI) Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Ajit Singh, speculations about whose increasing closeness to the NDA were rife for quite sometime, today confirmed the expected when he said talks with the BJP were progressing in the ''right direction'' while stressing that ''the country needed a change now.'' ''The Prime Minister has become helpless. He writes a letter to the Chief Minister of a state ruled by his own party and the letter is not taken any notice of. Naxalism and terrorism are on the rise and the prices breaking the bone of the commonman. People of the country feel that there should be a change,'' he said talking to mediapersons here.

He echoed the BJP views when he accused the UPA government of ''playing politics in the investigation into the Malegaon blasts.'' Replying to a question on Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, he said narco tests were not reliable, so no conclusions about her involvement in the blasts should be reached.

He also said terrorism should be identified with no religion, and the Centre should give out a message that it would deal with terror with firm hands.

Asked about the alternative and possibility of a Third Front emerging in such a situation, the RLD leader said he saw no such possibility.

He, however, said his party's talks with the BJP were progressing in ''the right direction.'' Asked when they will finally reach the destination, Mr Singh remarked in a lighter vein that ''still there might come some crossroads.'' On question about minorities going against him in case of his alliance with the BJP, he said some section or the other would be alienated whatever might be his choice of allies.

The RLD, which has three MPs in the Lok Sabha, is a party having its base in the farmers of western Uttar Pradesh. In the last Assembly elections, the party had broken away from the alliance with the Samajwadi Party and was inclined towards an alliance with the Congress, but the latter had finally chosen to go it alone.

For the coming Lok Sabha elections, the RLD seemed to be coming close to the Congress when on the occasion of the Trust Vote on the Nuclear deal, it finally crossed over to Ms Mayawati's camp which consisted of some UNPA members and the Left. But, the alliance proved to be temporary when Ms Mayawati refused to concede any seat to anyone for the coming Lok Sabha polls.

Following these developments, Mr Singh started talks with the BJP while keeping his options for the Congress open.

However, in a chat with reporters, he had recently indicated his doubts about the alliance between the Congress and Samajwadi party, a situation in which the NDA would be a more prudent choice for an electoral partnership.

UNI NAZ ATI AS1608

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