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Pranab pays 'courtesy call' on Advani, discusses terror

Pranab pays 'courtesy call' on Advani, discusses terror

Author: Express news service
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: March 4, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pranab-pays-courtesy-call-on-advani-discusses-terror/430498/

Introduction: While the two leaders are learnt to have discussed the issue of Terror in India's neighborhood, including Tuesday's attack in Pakistan, the alarming situation in Bangladesh is reported to have figured prominently during the discussion.

On a day when the attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team in Pakistan drew worldwide condemnation, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee called on Leader of Opposition L K Advani for a half-an-hour-long meeting.

While the two leaders are learnt to have discussed the issue of Terror in India's neighborhood, including Tuesday's attack in Pakistan, the alarming situation in Bangladesh is reported to have figured prominently during the discussion.

Pranab, however, asserted that it was "only a courtesy call" while one of his aides said the "meeting had been planned a couple of days ago".

"I was Leader of the House and he (Advani) was Leader of the Opposition (in the Lok Sabha) for five years. I just came to thank him (Advani) for his sincere cooperation," Mukherjee told reporters after the meeting with the NDA's prime ministerial candidate. This was in contrast to the oft-repeated Congress charge that "the BJP had not played the role of a constructive opposition in the 14th Lok Sabha".

Advani had earlier showered encomiums on Pranab on the floor of the House last month. "What would the UPA Government have done if Pranabji had not been around? For every crisis (in this government), Pranabji is always there. I have always admired him for his ability to shoulder just any kind of responsibility," Advani had said in the Lok Sabha on February 17.

"When we are going to polls, I wanted to meet him once," Pranab said, before going to the meeting. While neither side was ready to divulge further details, it's understood that other issues of national importance were also discussed. Home Minister P Chidambaram had earlier visited Advani before enacting twin anti-terror legislations.


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