NCP supporting Naidu as PM ?

| 09 May 2001 21:39 IST

The Nationalist Congress Party is expected to join the third front, posing Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu as the prime minister of an alternate government.

This was confirmed by Dr Wilfred de Souza, the local party leader and working committee member. "I understand it from my leader Sharad Pawar", he said, referring to the latter's Goa visit two days ago.

Based on discussions held with the NCP supremo, de Souza said the mini general elections would definitely have national repercussions and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was bound to get a beating in elections.

"It is very difficult for the BJP or the NDA to maintain similar popularity especially after the tehelka controversy", said de Souza.

Along with the NCP, de Souza said moves are also on to rope in the AIADMK in the third front while the alternate government is proposed to be supported by the Congress from outside.

The former Goa chief minister almost confirmed that Naidu had agreed to quit local politics and enter the national arena to lead the country, with a clear-cut agenda to keep away the Congress as well as the BJP.

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