April 22, 1999


The President's consultation with political leaders on the formation of an alternative government, which commenced yesterday with his discussions with Smt. Sonia Gandhi, have continued. The President met a delegation of Members of Parliament from the BJP and its allies in the evening of 2l April l999.

On the forenoon of 22 April 1999 the President held discussions with Shri Jyoti Basu, Chief Minister of West Bengal and Shri H.K.S. Surjeet, General Secretary of the CPI (M). He then had a meeting with Shri A.B. Bardhan, General Secretary of the CPI.

In the evening of 22 April 1999, the President met Ms J.Jayalalitha, General Secretary of the AIADMK, followed by representatives of the Republican Party of India.

On 23 April l999 the President is scheduled to have separate meetings with Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav, Shri Buta Singh, Dr.Subramanian Swamy, representatives of the All India Forward Bloc, the Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, and legal and constitutional experts.

To all his visitors the President has reiterated that he will arrive at a decision after a full consideration of the advice and perspectives received by him from all those he has consulted and the valuable suggestions received from the general public. Until the President's conclusion is arrived at, the President would urge that no credence be attached to rumours or speculative theories about his final decision.