From KO Archives | BJP Ready To Forget 370, Ayodhya

NEW DELHI- Agonising uncertainty over formation of the new government at the Centre continued today with Congress and United Front dithering on a re-union to jointly advance their claim and BJP hoping to ultimately benefit from their external contradiction.

The Front convenor and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who has reportedly strong reservations on the United Front supporting a coalition headed by Congress cancelled his visit to New Delhi.

The Telgu Desam party leader is likely to come only tomorrow as the next move by the Congress on government formation becomes known after its working committee meeting.

A report from Hyderabad stated that wide-ranging consultations undertaken by Naidu with the party leaders and its 12 newly elected Lok Sabha members had thrown up only two options: Either to extend conditional support to BJP or to abstain from voting in the house to maintain equidistance from both BJP and Congress.

Meanwhile, BJP is said to have decided to put on back burner contentious issues like Ayodhya, Article 370 and uniform’ civil code while formulating a national agenda that would form the basis for running a BJP-led coalition government at the centre.

Since the party had not been able to secure a clear majority on its own, it was felt that these issues should be kept aside so as to carry along its allies, particularly AIADMK, Trinomial Congress and Samata Party, who have strong reservation on these, the sources said.

A committee will be constituted for this purpose with members from all the major coalition partners after the meeting with the allies tomorrow.

The idea to have a national agenda instead of a common minimum programme was suggested at an informal meeting of office bearers-yesterday as several members expressed their reservation against having a CMP as this experiment had not worked during the United Front government. The national agenda would be more effective in having a consensus among coalition partners in running the government with the focus being on tackling some of the pressing social and economic issues confronting the Nation, the sources said.

 (Kashmir Observer, 09 March, 1998)

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