April 20 1999


Consequent on the situation arising from the Vote of Confidence lost in the Lok Sabha by the Council of Ministers headed by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 17 April l999, the President has held consultations with legal and constitutional experts. He has received suggestions in the form of letters from individuals, political parties and groups including the Bharatiya Janata Party and its alliance-partners.

The President's consultations with political personalities and parties on the subject of an alternative government will commence with a meeting proposed to be held on Wednesday, 21 April l999 with Shrimati Sonia Gandhi, President of the All India Congress Committee, who has been authorized by the Congress Parliamentary Party and the Congress Working Committee in this regard.

The President will meet leaders of concerned parties, groups, combinations, as well as individuals over the next couple of days in order to secure a viable alternative, consistent with established constitutional practice and norms of parliamentary democracy.