OTHERS

NCP to support NDA if situation arises: Sangma

SHILLONG, MAY 20. The Nationalist Congress Party will support the NDA Government at the Centre in the event of it losing majority in the Lok Sabha and the Congress under the leadership of Ms. Sonia Gandhi makes an attempt to form an alternative Ministry, the NCP general secretary, Mr. P.A. Sangma, announced tonight.

"The NCP will support the Vajpayee Ministry if it loses majority in the Lok Sabha. The party under no circumstances will allow a foreigner to become Prime Minister of the country," Mr. Sangma told reporters here after a party meeting.

If situation came to such a pass that the Congress under the leadership of Ms. Sonia Gandhi made an attempt to topple the Vajpayee Ministry, the NCP would prevent it, he said.

Mr. Sangma said his party MPs had on several occasions taken independent decisions to support the BJP-led NDA Government on various issues in the floor of the House.

The NCP's pledge to support the NDA assumes significance in the backdrop of the threat of the Samata Party to seriously consider withdrawing from the NDA Government, unless the BJP gave a firm assurance on issuing whip to party MLAs in Manipur to support the Samata Party-led Radhabinod Koijam Ministry during the confidence vote tomorrow.

- PTI