Ahead of Presidential polls, BJP hosts NDA meet

Midway through the tenure of the Modi government and ahead of presidential polls, BJP consolidated the NDA ranks with all 32 members of the grouping resolving to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Shiv Sena sources told The Hindu that Mr. Thackeray had a pull-aside meeting with his BJP counterpart, Amit Shah.

All 33 partners of NDA including Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray attended the meet held at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in Delhi. It can give BJP a psychological advantage because the opposition is in a disarray and Congress's debacle has dented the viability of its claim to lead the opposition.

A resolution passed at the meeting expressed a "deep sense of appreciation for the decisive and bold leadership" that Narendra Modi had provided the NDA.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley briefed the media after the dinner meeting attended by Prime Minister Modi and leaders of alliance parties including N. Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister said the NDA allies are committed to working in tandem to win the 2019 elections under Modis leadership. It assumes significance as the BJP will need the support of its allies to push a candidate of its choice for the President's elections due in July.

This is the first time in the past three years of the Modi government that a meeting was called of wider NDA partners at the central or the state level.

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.

NDA convenor and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandra Babu Naidu also credited the PM for the strong economic growth during the NDA regime. "India is the only country that is going to grow in double digits and it is only possible with Modi's leadership", Naidu added.

Today, under the able leadership of Modi, Indias presence is being felt and acknowledged at the global level.

  • Eleanor Harrison