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NDA to stake claim if it gets 272: Mahajan

By Josy Joseph in New Delhi
May 13, 2004 11:27 IST
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BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan said if the NDA reaches the 272-figure mark, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will stake a claim to form the government.

Early indications coming from the BJP headquarters, from where Mahajan spoke to, are that he along with George Fernandes and other senior leaders have already begun contacting parties such as the Bahujan Samaj Party and other smaller, regional formations with a view to seeking post-poll support and/or alliances.

Mahajan said the trends were not up to the NDA's expectations. "But until the final picture emerges this evening, no one can really say anything," Mahajan, who planned and executed the ruling alliance's campaign strategy, said.

"Sometimes you play well, but your opponent plays better. Sometimes, you don't play so well and lose out," Mahajan said. He pointed out that it was too early to analyse the results or seek to pinpoint the NDA's shortcomings.

"If the results are not up to expectations, then there are mistakes (in the campaign/government)," Mahajan said.

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Josy Joseph in New Delhi