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Vote for political stability: Vajpayee

The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, with the members of the Government's Hajgoodwill delegation, in New Delhi, on Friday. - Photo: V. Sudershan

The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, with the members of the Government's Hajgoodwill delegation, in New Delhi, on Friday. - Photo: V. Sudershan  

LUCKNOW, FEB. 15. The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, today called upon the people of Uttar Pradesh to elect a party which could provide political stability and worked in unison with the Government at the Centre. During the last Assembly elections there was a division of votes as the electorate gave greater importance to local aspirations. That had resulted in a hung Assembly. The people's verdict could be of real value only when it was able to ensure a stable government in the State, Mr. Vajpayee said.

Lucknow city, which had supported the BJP in the last Assembly elections, has witnessed an intensive campaign by the Opposition and the Prime Minister was forced to spend quite some time canvassing support for his party candidates today. He addressed four election meetings in various Assembly segments falling under his Lok Sabha constituency reminding the voters of the progress that Lucknow had made during the present BJP regime. The pace of progress could be improved if the State Government likely to come up after the elections worked in tandem with the Central Government, he said.

Mr. Vajpayee referred to various changes that had taken place during the chief ministership of Rajnath Singh. Law and order had improved and the financial position of the State had changed for the better. Uttar Pradesh, he said, had unlimited possibilities. The need was faster development in agriculture and trade. In today's world greater production alone could not be meaningful, as the world market wanted better products and packaged beautifully. This was quite a challenge to the industries and Uttar Pradesh would have to take its share in the process of development.

The Prime Minister stressed the need to remove corruption in the functioning of the Government. His own Government was determined to remove corruption. He had decided to enact the Lok Pal Bill which would bring under its purview the office of the Prime Minister too. He wanted to bind his own office by rules and discipline. That was necessary to give an honest administration to the people. And positive cooperation from the State Government alone could supplement his efforts.

The economy was now passing through a recession. People having capital were reluctant to invest the same. A change in the work culture alone could remove the stagnation. The need of the hour was to loosen the bureaucratic hold over files and ensure faster processing in Government offices.

While the Centre was determined to do every thing to ensure proper development of the country, its efforts would be set to naught, if the States were not found cooperating. While casting their votes, the people should keep these facts in mind, he advised.

The Prime Minister made only a passing reference to the problem of Kashmir with Pakistan. India had surplus food grains and sugar and had offered to sell its produce to Pakistan at a reasonable rate. Pakistan, however, said,``We do not want wheat. We do not want sugar. We want only Kashmir''. But nobody is going to give them Kashmir, he said.

He also mentioned the democratic strength of India in contrast to that of Pakistan. In India there were regular elections but Pakistan had the tradition of putting behind bars its Prime Ministers after their retirement, he said. Elections in Uttar Pradesh should strengthen the hands of democracy, he concluded.

Black kept at bay

PTI reports from Kanpur:

People wearing black clothes, including women with shawls or woollen pull-overs were not allowed to enter the enclosures at the Prime Minister's election meeting at Phool Bagh today.

Anyone walking wearing anything black was stopped by securitymen. They were asked either to keep away or remain out of the vicinity of the historic venue.

A senior police officer told PTI that anything black, even a handkerchief, was not allowed but did not give any reason.

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