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DATE=4/21/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-248399 TITLE=INDIA POLITICS (L) BYLINE=JIM TEEPLE DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: JUST FOUR DAYS AFTER A VOTE OF NO-CONFIDENCE AGAINST ITS POLITICAL OPPONENTS, INDIA'S CONGRESS PARTY SEEMS TO BE HAVING INCREASING DIFFICULTY FORMING A NEW GOVERNMENT. VOA'S JIM TEEPLE REPORTS FROM OUR NEW DELHI BUREAU. // INSERT ACT OF CROWD CHANTING ..GO HOME SONIA... // TEXT: SUPPORTERS OF INDIA'S HINDU-NATIONALIST BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY CHANTED ANTI-SONIA GANDHI SLOGANS OUTSIDE INDIA'S PARLIAMENT ON WEDNESDAY AS THE CONGRESS PARTY LEADER WAS MEETING JUST A SHORT DISTANCE AWAY WITH INDIA'S PRESIDENT, K.R. NARAYANAN. INDIA'S PRESIDENT, WHO HAS TO APPROVE ANY NEW GOVERNMENT, CALLED SONIA GANDHI TO HIS IMPOSING RESIDENCE TO ASK HER TO BRING ENOUGH LETTERS OF SUPPORT FROM HER ALLIES TO PROVE SHE CAN FORM A NEW GOVERNMENT. MRS. GANDHI, THE ITALIAN-BORN WIDOW OF FORMER PRIME MINISTER RAJIV GANDHI, SAYS SHE WILL HAVE THE SUPPORT BY FRIDAY. // INSERT GANDHI ACTUALITY // WITHIN TWO DAYS WE WILL BRING THE LETTERS. THIS IS WHAT I HAVE TOLD THE PRESIDENT. // END ACTUALITY // IT IS UP TO INDIA'S PRESIDENT TO DECIDE WHETHER TO ALLOW THE CONGRESS PARTY TO FORM A NEW GOVERNMENT OR WHETHER TO GIVE ANOTHER PARTY OR COALITION OF PARTIES THE SAME OPPORTUNITY. SONIA GANDHI SAYS SHE IS CONFIDENT THE CONGRESS PARTY WILL BE ABLE TO FORM A GOVERNMENT ON ITS OWN WITH OUTSIDE SUPPORT FROM FROM ITS ALLIES WHO VOTED WITH THE THE CONGRESS PARTY LAST SATURDAY TO OUST PRIME MINISTER VAJPAYEE. AT THE SAME TIME SONIA GANDHI IS GIVING NO INDICATION OF WHETHER SHE WILL BE PRIME MINISTER, SAYING SUCH QUESTIONS ARE PREMATURE. // OPT // THERE ARE 545 SEATS IN INDIA'S LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT AND MEMBERS OF MR. VAJPAYEE'S PARTY SAY, EVEN THOUGH THEY LOST LAST SATURDAY'S CONFIDENCE MOTION, THEY HAVE MORE SUPPORT IN PARLIAMENT THAN THE CONGRESS PARTY DOES. THEY SAY THEY SHOULD BE GIVEN THE CHANCE TO SHOW THEIR STRENGTH BY BEING ALLOWED TO TRY AND FORM A GOVERNMENT ON THEIR OWN. SONIA GANDHI SAYS SHE BELIEVES THE NUMBERS ARE ON HER SIDE. // INSERT GANDHI ACTUALITY // I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY NUMBERS THEY CLAIM TO HAVE. THEY SAY, I BELIEVE, THEY HAVE 270, WELL WE HAVE 272 AND WE HOPE TO GET MORE. WE ARE CONFIDENT WE WILL GET MORE. // END ACTUALITY // // END OPT // WHILE SHE APPEARS CONFIDENT, SONIA GANDHI WAS CHALLENGED WEDNESDAY BY A KEY ALLY. MALAYAM SINGH YADAV, WHOSE PARTY HAS 20 DEPUTIES AND WHO VOTED WITH SONIA GANDHI TO BRING THE VAJPAYEE GOVERNMENT DOWN, SAYS HE HAS GIVEN NO ASSURANCES HE WILL BACK HER EFFORTS TO FORM A GOVERNMENT. MR. YADAV'S COMMENTS CAME AS PARLIAMENT WAS DISRUPTED BY ACCUSATIONS THE CONGRESS PARTY IS TRYING TO BRIBE SOME LEGISLATORS TO GAIN THEIR SUPPORT-- SOMETHING SONIA GANDHI STRONGLY DENIED ON WEDNESDAY. THE DISRUPTION LED TO PARLIAMENT BEING ADJOURNED FOR THE DAY. BECAUSE OF THAT LEGISLATORS WERE UNABLE TO APPROVE A BUDGET FOR THIS YEAR BUT THEY ARE EXPECTED TO TRY AGAIN ON THURSDAY. (SIGNED) NEB/JLT/LTD/KL 21-Apr-99 9:28 AM EDT (1328 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .