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Jaitley debunks poll survey giving advantage to UPA

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Sep 3 (UNI) Virtually debunking the recent survey that gave a 4.5 per cent advantage to the ruling UPA vis-a-vis the NDA coallition if elections were held, the BJP today said it was a paradox that such a conclusion was drawn at a time when people were dissatisfied with the government on every possible issue one could think of.

Reacting to the recently concluded survey stating that the 27-month-old UPA government may get more seats than the opposition NDA if elections were held now, BJP General Secretary and Spokesman Arun Jaitley said his party never rubbished or underestimated any survey as these surveys were indicative of the trend while no polls were around the corner.

He said there was 'large-scale dissatisfaction' about the ruling combination and yet, if the UPA were set to get more number of seats in the polls, possibly it was because the people felt that the government in the mid term must be given a chance, he remarked.

The UPA, he said, was caught in the contradiction between the Left and its own policies and no new policy initiative was forthcoming. The handling of the economy by the government was disastrous and the prices were reaching the sky. The eight per cent growth rate was essentially entrepreneurial driven and not because of any policy initiative.

On the security situation, he said "if it is not collapsing, it is crumbling" as the ability to take decision and enforce it was not there.

Hitting out at the psephologists and their predictions, he said most of them went wrong when they predicted for the NDA a landslide victory ahead of 2003-04 Lok Sabha elections. But when the poll results were out, the picture was 'something different'. "You can't have a situation where inflation is sky high and security is crumbling and prices go up and yet still people are happy with the government," he felt.

For the BJP, these surveys were a lesson, he said. In case they want to lean towards us, it would be the primary responsibility to focus on issues like mismanagement of the economy, farmers issue, price rise, security and weak leadership.

Mr Jaitley did not lend much credence to the survey on the leadership. "These surveys did not offer a ghost of a chance to Dr Manmohan Singh prior to 2004 nor to former prime ministers I K Gujral or H D Deve Gowda. If a survey were to be held prior to 2004, the present PM could have got 0.1 rating,'' he remarked.

To a question that the NDA too wanted to have a nuclear deal when it was in government, he said, Our deal envisaged India pursuing an independent and uncompromising foreign policy where the options and choices for the country should not be restricted. BJP MPs Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie had talked at length on behalf of the party.

He denied that Leader of the Opposition L K Advani had defended former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh in the Parliament on Iraq oil kickback scam. He only wanted Justice Pathak Authority to pursue the investigation on the role of the Congress party, the second non-contractual beneficiary named by the Volcker probe report. ''I regarded this as a half inquiry and half cover up," he remarked.

About Vande Mataram, he said the decision to observe the centenary of the National song was that of the Centre. When others were willing to buckle under pressure from the fundamentalist forces, the BJP will not cause any disrespect to any symbol of national honour, he said.

UNI MCN RS1440

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