M A I N   N E W S

BJP displays picture-perfect grand coalition
KV Prasad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
The BJP today showcased its grand coalition with allies trooping into Parliament’s Central Hall to felicitate Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi for crafting a superb win.

The party has its task cut out. It must provide ministerial berths for the allies’ 52 MPs. These include 18 of the Shiv Sena, TDP’s 16, LJP’s 6, Akali Dal’s 4, Apna Dal’s 2 and six others. The Sena has been part of the previous NDA government, while the TDP indicated willingness to join this time having provided outside support to the 1999-2004 Vajpayee government.

Party sources said while a formula is still in the works, allies with double-digit MPs are expecting one-two Cabinet berths and two-four in junior ranks. Indications are that allies could recommend a name for inclusion in the Council of Ministers, but the final call will be taken by the Prime Minister.

Given Modi’s fondness for “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance”, BJP sources suggested this could translate into a lean and trim Cabinet. He is also insistent on representatives with a clean record and, preferably, some administrative capacity. BJP president Rajnath Singh and veteran leader LK Advani acknowledged the pre-eminent position of the Shiromani Akali Dal under Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at the meeting in Central Hall. He was seated next to Modi in the impressive line-up of leaders that included Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan. Badal fondly recalled the long SAD-BJP association and described it as inseparable as “ghee-khichdi”.

Naidu predicted the hard-working Modi will do an encore when the country goes to polls five years later. Sena chief Thackeray recalled how the foundation of the BJP-Sena ties was laid by Balasaheb and how it flourished and grew stronger over the years. Paswan’s LJP, which like the TDP returned to the NDA-fold, credited Modi for the emphatic win.

Underscoring the solidarity, the allies accompanied Rajnath to meet the President and submitted letters of support for the BJP to form the next government under Modi. While the BJP has 25 allies, only 11 among them scored electoral victory in the recent elections.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |