Gearing up the for the next Lok Sabha polls, the NDA on Tuesday gave its stamp of approval to LK Advani as its Prime Ministerial candidate who said the goal should be to "make the Congress suffer the worst defeat in its history."
A meeting of the opposition alliance, the first after the saffron party projected Advani as its PM candidate, resolved "the NDA shall contest the next parliamentary polls with a common strategy and a common programme under the leadership of Advani."
Hailing Advani's life-long service to the nation, his vast political and parliamentary experience and "unimpeachable record of integrity," the NDA expressed confidence that he will lead the alliance to victory in the polls.
The leader of the opposition said the goal should not only be to ensure NDA's victory but "also to make Congress suffer the worst defeat in its history."
Retaining former premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee as its chairman and George Fernandes as convener, all the constituent parties of NDA decided to "work unitedly and with renewed vigour to dislodge the... UPA government and secure a decisive mandate for the NDA in the Lok Sabha polls.
Mamata Bannerjee-led Trinamool Congress was the only absentee in the meeting but BJP leader Sushma Swaraj down played it saying the party had promised participation in the alliance.
Declaring 2008 as the year of change at the Centre, Advani said NDA's task was to prepare itself for success in a series of coming assembly elections including in some BJP- ruled states.
He wanted the government "not to think of any ploy to postpone" assembly elections in Karnataka.