Lalu and Sharad Pawar rule out snap poll

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Patna, Oct 11 (UNI) RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar today categorically ruled out even the 'mildest possibility' of mid-term general elections in the wake of the raging controversy between the UPA and Left parties over the Indo-US nuke deal.

Speaking to newspersons here on two separate occasions, both the Railway Minister and the Union Agriculture Minister also expressed their confidence that the present differences with the Left parties would be ''completely over after the next round of talks'' slated for October 22.

''There are no more chances of any snap poll and I am confident that the remaining hitches would be over after the October 22 meeting and the UPA government will complete its full five-year term,'' Mr Pawar said, when his attention was drawn towards yesterday's remark by senior BJP leader L K Advani here, saying that mid-term poll by early next year was ''inevitable''.

Ridiculing Mr Advani's remark, Mr Pawar said ''I did not know that Mr Advani is an astrologer besides being a senior leader of the BJP,'' and refused to pay any heed to his comments.

Mr Pawar was speaking to newspersons after reconstituting the Bihar unit of the NCP by appointing former leader of Opposition Upendra Kushwaha as the new state party President.

Meanwhile, the Railway Minister while talking to newspersons at a function to mark the 105th birthday celebration of Jayprakash Narayan here, also ruled out the 'remotest possibility' of any snap polls in 'forceable future'.

''It will be held on time as decided by the major political parties in its recent meetings and there is no doubt about it,'' Mr Prasad reiterated.

However, in an earlier party rally in Munger last week he had asked the party workers to remain alert about the mid-term elections.

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