NDA top guns meet to formulate Prez poll strategy
A meeting of NDA's top leaders, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was held on Monday evening as the ruling alliance put up a show of strength ahead of elections to the post of the President and Vice President.
Leaders of 33 BJP allies, including the new friends it has won over in Goa and north-east states, attended the meeting after its president Amit Shah reached out to them.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who has often flayed the saffron party and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu were among the high profile NDA allies who attended the meeting.
The BJP sources said the meeting was a show of strength of the ruling alliance as well as an exercise in taking stock of the national political scene.
The meeting assumed significance as the saffron party will need the support of its allies to push a candidate of its choice for the President's elections due in July.
Sources, however, insisted that this was not on the agenda of the meeting.
This is only the second meeting of top NDA leaders since the alliance stormed to power in 2014 and could result in smoothing over any differences between the BJP and many of its small allies, some of whom have often complained about lack of communication.
Its allies from Bihar, including Union Ministers Ramvilas Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha besides Jitan Ram Manjhi, from Uttar Pradesh, including Union Minister Anupriya Patel and Om Rajbhar, besides a host of allies from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and other states are believed to have attended the meeting. Former Punjab Chief Minister and Akali stalwart Parkash Singh Badal also attended, the sources said.
It is also believed that the allies agreed to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha polls under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.