Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, whose Telugu Desam Party is a key supporter of the National Democratic Alliance government, has said that replacement of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is not the solution to the crisis gripping the strife-torn state.
Speaking to mediapersons in Hyderabad on Monday, the chief minister said that the immediate priority was restoration of normalcy in Gujarat.
Asked about the demand of the Samata Party and the Trinamool Congress -- two other constituents of the NDA -- for the resignation or dismissal of Narendra Modi, Naidu said, "That is not the solution. They (the BJP government) have to control the situation and restore normalcy. Violence should end in Gujarat. The guilty should be brought to book."
"We are very clear on our stand on Gujarat and Ayodhya. Confidence-building measures should be taken up and better facilities should be provided to the large number of people in relief camps. I have spoken to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee about the Gujarat situation," Naidu said.
The Telugu Desam chief said that he pledged his support to Vajpayee for any steps being taken for restoration of peace and order in the communal strife-torn state. He also appreciated Vajpayee's appeal to the people of Gujarat to help restore communal amity.
Meanwhile, Vijay Goel, Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office, called on Naidu.
Emerging from the meeting, Vijay Goel said, "We discussed the Gujarat situation. We want early return to normalcy."
Asked if the issue of election of new Speaker of the Lok Sabha figured in the meeting, Goel replied in the negative.
It may be recalled that former speaker G M C Balayogi, who was killed in an air crash on March 3, belonged to the Telugu Desam Party.
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