The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Desam to keep up BJP support

Tirupati, May 29: The Telugu Desam Party today reaffirmed its faith in the BJP-led Central coalition, smothering any possibility of fresh alignments.

On the third and final day of its 18th annual convention — or mahanadu — Andhra Pradesh’s ruling party underlined the need for political stability, emphasising that its support for the United Front regime earlier was based on the same reason. But the Desam would not tolerate it if the BJP’s moves affect the nation’s secular spirit, it warned.

The Tirupati Declaration hit hard at the Left parties, labelling them anti-development. The resolution said the Left parties were “blind” in their opposition to economic reforms and blamed them for “double talk”.

The Desam said the approach of the Left parties to reforms “differed” in states, depending on whether they ruled or were in the Opposition.

The party also lashed out at the Congress. Commenting on the demand for a separate state of Telengana allegedly by “vested interests”, the Desam held the Congress responsible for raising the issue as far back as in 1969.

The statehood struggle, launched by the Congress, had cost innocent lives, the Desam said. “In spite of numerous leaders emerging from the region and holding positions, the region did not grow and has remained very backward till date,” the party said. The people, it added, should see through the political game of the Congress and stay away from such programmes that ultimately lead to their misery.

The Desam said it would continue to back the National Democratic Alliance at the Centre but has no intention to share power with the combine. More than power sharing, ensuring benefits for Andhra was of greater significance, it added.

“The party is committed to the common minimum programme of the NDA,” the Desam said, but “will not continue its support blindly if the BJP” introduces its own agenda.

Desam chief . Chandrababu Naidu said his party has always been at the forefront when criticising the Centre for deviating on controversial issues like shiladaan in Ayodhya.

The Tirupati Declaration hailed Naidu’s tenure as a milestone in the political and economic history of the state as well as a trendsetter in the fields of infotech and public administration in the new millennium. Yesterday, Naidu was elected Desam chief for the fifth consecutive term. He has held the post since taking over from his father-in-law, the late .T. Rama Rao.

For the first time, the Desam was apologetic about killing of extremists in encounters when it said the party had “no grudge against them”. But the resolution condemned the PWG for targeting only elected representatives of the party and underlined the need for a full-fledged debate on the extremist menace.

A strategy to resume talks with the rebels was not far away, the resolution indicated.

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