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Monday, 22 April, 2002, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
BJP set to finalise alliance in UP

The leader of India's Bahujan Samaj Party, Kanshi Ram, has said his party's candidate will be the new chief minister of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Ram said that although the final details were still to be worked out, his party's leader in the state, Mayawati, would take over the position following an agreement to form an alliance with the country's governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The BJP's leader in Uttar Pradesh, Kalraj Mishra, confirmed the announcement but insisted the parties were still discussing many other points.

India's most populous state has been under presidential rule since February's state election, when no party or grouping emerged with a clear majority.

The agreement will also provide the governing BJP with an extra 13 MPs in the parliament in Delhi, which correspondents say will help neutralise the threat of rebellion from its allies over the Gujarat issue.

The second largest party in the BJP-led coalition, the Telugu Desam Party, has joined in oppostion calls for the dismissal of the Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, but has stopped short of withdrawing from the ruling alliance.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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