Polls arrive, NDA agenda doesn’t
Campaigning has ended for the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls — to be held in 124 constituencies across 17 states on Thursday — and the BJP has still not released its NDA agenda of governance. Shekhar Iyer reports.delhi Updated: Apr 16, 2009 00:28 IST
Campaigning has ended for the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls — to be held in 124 constituencies across 17 states on Thursday — and the BJP has still not released its NDA agenda of governance.
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L K Advani (81) had wanted the document to be released before the first of the five-phase elections. He had even said as much on April 3 when the party manifesto was released in New Delhi.
BJP strategists had been working on the agenda under former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh. The document was supposed to incorporate salient features of the manifestos of the BJP and its allies.
But with top NDA leaders caught in campaigning, party leaders are not sure when they will be able to get together in Delhi for the ceremonial launch of the NDA document. “We can always release the NDA document when it is convenient to all leaders during the elections,” said BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Jaswant Singh is busy with his own campaign in Darjeeling, where he is the BJP candidate backed by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). Singh took the plunge only a few days ago after the GJM wanted a senior BJP leader to contest from the seat.
“Jaswant Singh was supposed to talk to the other NDA leaders like Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav, Parkash Singh Badal, Om Prakash Chautala, and Ajit Singh,” said a BJP functionary.