Neena Vyas

“NDA lost one ally but has gained three allies”

In some States, Congress has allies but no alliances

Jaitley unveils campaign film “Team Advani”

NEW DELHI: The self-confidence displayed by leaders of the Congress and its allies is hollow and the United Progressive Alliance is now a chapter in history, BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said here on Monday.

In some States, the Congress had allies but no alliances, as in Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. The Congress had friends in Lalu Prasad, Ram Vilas Paswan and even Mulayam Singh, but no seat-sharing arrangement on the ground, he said.

In some other States, it had alliance but no allies. In Maharashtra, the Congress entered into a seat-sharing arrangement with Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, but Mr. Pawar had also aligned with the Left and the Biju Janata Dal in Orissa, he pointed out.

In Tamil Nadu, the Congress had an alliance and an ally in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. “But the DMK is no position to deliver anything,” he added.

Mr. Jaitley contrasted the National Democratic Alliance with the UPA. Though the NDA lost one ally (the BJD in Orissa), it gained three allies and alliances — the Asom Gana Parishad in Assam, the Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana and the Rashtriya Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh.

He said that in Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh — which together accounted for 134 Lok Sabha constituencies — “the Congress would be lucky to get seats in a double-digit figure.” Together, the Congress tally in these three States would not cross 10 seats.

However, when it was pointed out that the BJP too was virtually zero in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, which accounted for 143 Lok Sabha seats, he nodded in agreement.

BJP leaders agree that in the absence of allies in these States, the party may not be able to win even one seat.

Mr. Jaitley unveiled a new campaign film “Team Advani.”

The film opens with a shot of the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying in 1980 that the “sun will rise again, the lotus will bloom again” on the occasion of the founding of the BJP. The film has shots of all party leaders.