Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI: What is the United National Progressive Alliance and what does it stand for? What does the BJP have to say about the recent political developments involving the UNPA? Is not the BJP looking for tying up with some of the UNPA constituents such as the Asom Gana Parishad and the Indian National Lok Dal?

These were some of the questions posed by journalists to BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu when the UNPA meeting was still on.

Mr. Naidu was quick to describe it as a “Union of Non-Performing Assets” clearly referring to the fact that all the parties in it were out of power and struggling to stage a comeback in their States.

The Telugu Desam Party of Chandrababu Naidu has not shown any sign of revival – recently some senior leaders left the party. Nor has the Indian National Lok Dal of Om Prakash Chautala has shown any improvement in Haryana. The Asom Gana Parishad is also reeling under the second successive Congress government in Assam. As for Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party, which has been “trampled all over” by the Bahujan Samaj Party “elephant,” it is desperate to ensure its own survival when the next election takes place in Uttar Pradesh. Since that will be the Lok Sabha election, his party seems keen on having a tie-up with the Congress, Mr. Naidu said.

Comparing the UNPA to a “parking lot,” he said parties come to the parking lot, park their cars and go for shopping. When that task is over and the bargains made, they come back to the parking lot and drive off. “Some go left, some turn right and others drive straight to the centre.”

On the meeting between SP leader Amar Singh and BJP leader Jaswant Singh, Mr. Naidu said: “He [Jaswant Singh] is a senior man. Does he have to take anyone’s permission in writing before meeting anyone? He went there to tell the SP not to be taken in by the government’s explanations on the nuclear deal. No, he did not go to plead with them to save the deal. We are least bothered about the United States. There is no pressure on us from the U.S., so there is no question of doing anything to please America.”

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