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DATE=4/13/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-248007 TITLE=INDIA/POLITICS (L-ONLY) BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: IN INDIA, POLITICAL PARTIES ARE PLOTTING STRATEGIES AFTER AN ALLY OF THE HINDU-NATIONALIST GOVERNMENT DECLARED IT WILL LEAVE THE RULING COALITION. OPPOSITION GROUPS WANT TO FORM A NEW GOVERNMENT -- BUT HINDU NATIONALISTS INSIST THE COALITION THEY LEAD WILL SURVIVE. ANJANA PASRICHA HAS A REPORT ON THE LATEST POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS. TEXT: SEVERAL OPPOSITION PARTIES, INCLUDING SOCIALISTS, COMMUNISTS AND REGIONAL GROUPS, HELD SEVERAL MEETINGS IN THE INDIAN CAPITAL (TUESDAY) TO EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITY OF FORMING AN ALTERNATIVE GOVERNMENT IF THE "BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY"-LED COALITION COLLAPSES. THE B-J-P GOVERNMENT'S SURVIVAL IS AT STAKE DUE TO A CRUCIAL ALLY'S DECISION TO BREAK AWAY. THE ESTRANGED ALLY, JAYARAM JAYALALITHA, IS ALSO MEETING PROSPECTIVE NEW POLITICAL PARTNERS. BUT THE FRONTRUNNER IN THE RACE TO LEAD A NEW GOVERNMENT -- THE MAIN OPPOSITION "CONGRESS PARTY" -- IS GIVING NO CLEAR INDICATIONS OF ITS INTENTIONS. THE CONGRESS PARTY IS THE SECOND-LARGEST PARTY IN PARLIAMENT AFTER THE B-J-P. SENIOR CONGRESS LEADER, ARJUN SINGH, SAYS HIS PARTY IS WAITING FOR EVENTS TO UNFOLD BEFORE IT MAKES A MOVE. /// INSERT SINGH ACT /// WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN TOPPLING THE GOVERNMENT, AND IF THIS COALITION COLLAPSES UNDER THE WEIGHT OF ITS OWN CONTRADICTIONS, THE CONGRESS PARTY WILL FULFILL ITS CONSTITUTIONAL OBLIGATIONS. /// END SINGH ACT /// POLITICAL ANALYSTS SAY THE FRAGMENTED PARLIAMENT WILL MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR OPPOSITION PARTIES TO PUT TOGETHER A GOVERNMENT. MORE THAN 45 GROUPS ARE REPRESENTED IN THE 545-MEMBER LEGISLATURE. THE CONGRESS PARTY CONTROLS A LITTLE MORE THAN ONE-QUARTER OF THE SEATS IN PARLIAMENT. POLITICAL ANALYST, AJAY MEHRA, FROM THE CENTER OF POLICY RESEARCH, SAYS CONGRESS LEADERS APPEAR TO BE HESITANT ABOUT FORMING A NEW GOVERNMENT BECAUSE ANY GOVERNMENT THEY MAKE WILL BE EXTREMELY VULNERABLE. /// INSERT MEHRA ACT /// THE LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE WITHIN THE CONGRESS YOU SEE I THINK IS VERY LOW. AND I THINK THIS LACK OF CONFIDENCE OR LOW CONFIDENCE LEVEL IS BASED ON THE POLITICAL ARITHMETIC WHERE THEY MAY FORM THE GOVERNMENT -- BUT WHETHER THEY WILL BE ABLE TO RUN IT -- THAT IS THE QUESTION. /// END MEHRA ACT /// MEANWHILE, B-J-P LEADERS SAY THEY ARE TRYING TO WIN THE SUPPORT OF POLITICAL GROUPS NOT IN THE COALITION -- BUT WHO STAUNCHLY OPPOSE A CONGRESS-LED GOVERNMENT. THEY ALSO HOPE MANY LAWMAKERS WANTING TO PREVENT FRESH ELECTIONS MAY SUPPORT THE COALITION. (SIGNED) NEB/AP/LTD/RAE 13-Apr-99 9:40 AM EDT (1340 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .