May 06, 2005

UPA-NDA deal on Laloo-Modi in offing

There are the makings of a deal between the UPA and the NDA, in that if Laloo Prasad Yadav is implicated in the burgeoning Bihar flood scam and is dropped from the Union cabinet, the BJP will ask Narendra Modi to go.

Top government sources said that Bihar governor Buta Singh at the Centre’s behest has recommended a CBI inquiry into the flood scam, in which Laloo’s brother-in-law, Sadhu Yadav, is already implicated, and the agency has been indicated politically to investigate in a direction to implicate Laloo as well.

Exceptionally, the CBI’s Patna unit has already been alerted to prepare to investigate the flood scam and implicate Laloo and his family and associates, and the political trade-off is that once Laloo is dropped as a consequence of these investigations, Modi in Gujarat would go.

The contours of this deal are yet unclear, because while the prime minister’s office knows about it, it is not a party to it, and obviously the Congress leadership is handling it, but the identity of those who have accepted this deal on the BJP side is unknown, although top officials say the deal has been run through the former PM, A.B.Vajpayee, and BJP president L.K.Advani.

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