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Modi Chairs NDA Meeting, Allies Press Demands Ahead of Government Formation

Nda Meeting

New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened a crucial meeting with National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners on Wednesday to discuss the formation of the new government following their victory in the Lok Sabha elections. Despite the NDA securing a majority, with the BJP winning 240 seats, the party fell short of the 272-majority mark, necessitating strong support from its allies.

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Key NDA leaders in attendance included Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan. Although President Droupadi Murmu has yet to formally invite the NDA to form the government, sources indicate that BJP’s allies have already begun pressing their demands for the upcoming Modi 3.0 Cabinet.

Chandrababu Naidu, TDP chief, is reportedly eyeing the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post and has sought 7-8 Cabinet and one Minister of State (MoS) positions. The desired portfolios include Road Transport, Rural Development, Health, Housing & Urban Affairs, Agriculture, Jal Shakti, IT & Communications, Education, and Finance (MoS). The TDP, along with Pawan Kalyan’s JanaSena Party, which together won 18 seats from Andhra Pradesh, will be pivotal in the government formation.

Nitish Kumar, seen as a key player, is expected to negotiate vigorously, seeking three Cabinet positions. Despite being courted by the INDIA bloc, the JD(U) has pledged its allegiance to the NDA. The JD(U) secured 12 of Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha seats, solidifying its influence within the coalition.

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Chirag Paswan’s LJP (Ram Vilas) is likely to demand one Cabinet and one state minister post. The party’s impressive performance, winning all five allocated seats in Bihar, has bolstered its bargaining power. Additionally, HAM(S) chief Jitam Ram Manjhi, who won from Gaya, seeks a Cabinet position.

JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy has expressed interest in the Agriculture portfolio, though he emphasized resolving long-standing issues for Karnataka. The BJP and JD(S) alliance in Karnataka secured 17 and 2 seats, respectively.

Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena has extended its support to Modi while requesting one Cabinet and two MoS positions. The Mahayuti alliance, consisting of BJP, Shiv Sena (Shinde), and NCP (Ajit Pawar), won 17 seats in Maharashtra, with Shiv Sena (Shinde) alone securing seven.

As the NDA prepares to form the government, the demands of its allies will play a crucial role in shaping the new Cabinet.

 

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