Stability Versus Rag-tag Government

Updated: Apr 28 2004, 05:30am hrs
The stock market panicked on Tuesday in response to the exit polls hinting at a hung Parliament. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) maintained a brave front, dismissing the results of exit poll but not demanding a ban on them.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will get a comfortable majority, BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu said here on Tuesday. He was talking to mediapersons after a review of the partys performance by senior leaders including Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani.

Though Mr Naidu parried queries about post-poll alliances, he did not rule them out, saying that his party did not believe in untouchability. He also admitted to a close contest in Andhra Pradesh.

The BJP president reiterated the stability aspect of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government vis-a-vis a rag-tag government the non-NDA parties want to set up for which a race for Prime Ministership has already begun.

In fact, this will be the recurrent theme in the BJPs election strategy. The party has been harping on performance, governance and stability provided by the Vajpayee government for quite some time.

BJP sources said that the unfavourable results of the exit polls have not forced them to change their poll strategy. Only the stability aspect would get a lot more prominence from now on.

The party would emphasise how the earlier rag-tag governments of HD Deve Gowda and IK Gujral had fared, comparing them with the glorious achievements of the Vajpayee regime, BJP sources said.

In the same vein, Mr Naidu ridiculed the Congress for their claim of forming the next government. In 1999, too, they had claimed that they would form the government.

The BJP claimed that according to its internal survey, the NDA is expected to secure 186 seats out of 276 in the first two phases. The BJP would get 133 out of the 183 it contested. Its allies are tipped to get 53.

BJP leaders also point out to the exit poll results on the recent state elections in four states. These poll results did not tally with the final results.