BJP petitions President Mukherjee for early elections

The Bharatiya Janata Party, India's main opposition party, today asked President Pranab Mukherjee to advance the date of general elections to this year itself, rather than early next year as scheduled.

Senior BJP leader L K Advani told newspersons that a team had met the President and sought early Lok Sabha elections to end the present atmosphere of "uncertainty" in the country.

"The way to end the present scenario of uncertainty in the country is that the Lok Sabha election should be held in 2013 itself along with assembly elections," Advani told the media.

Assembly elections are due in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan before the end of November.

Advani submitted a memorandum to the President on behalf of BJP MPs on the ''unprecedented crisis'' facing the Indian economy.

"The free fall of the Indian rupee against the US dollar is only a symptom of the deeper malaise afflicting the Indian economy today," said the memorandum.

Advani said the government was blaming everyone for the current crisis - except itself.

"We have not seen this kind of a government where the present finance minister blames the earlier one (for the economic problems), who is not in a position to answer now," he said.

The memorandum added that the country can ill-afford a government which is "paralysed".

"We have come to urge you, therefore, to end the prevailing uncertainty by advising this government to seek a fresh mandate at the earliest and not later than the state elections due in the next three months," it said.

The memorandum said an atmosphere of gloom and doom prevails in the country.