New Delhi, July 17
The ruling BJP on Monday set the stage for a show of strength parallel to the opposition’s, and announced that 38 parties would attend the meeting of the National Democratic Alliance scheduled in the Capital tomorrow.
Current NDA parties 18
BJP; Shivsena (Shinde); National People’s Party, Meghalaya; Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party; Sikkim Krantikari Morcha; JJP; AIADMK; IMKMK; All Jharkhand Students Union; RPI; Mizo National Front; Tamil Maanila Congress; ITFT (Tripura); Bodo People’s Party; Pattali Makkal Katchi; Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party; Apna Dal; Asom Gana Parishad.
BJP president JP Nadda unveiled the numbers signalling surprises at the Tuesday meeting which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend to mark 25 years of the NDA.
“Who will come tomorrow will be known tomorrow. NDA’s agenda is clear. We take everyone along on the path of national service. We never abandoned anyone, any ally. We maintained affectionate ties even with those who left... Those dedicated to national interest can come back any time they want... when to return is up to those who left,” Nadda said when asked whether the Shiromani Akali Dal would attend the meeting tomorrow.
The NDA currently has 18 constituents. Over and above these 18, the following leaders are expected to join tomorrow — Bihar’s Chirag Paswan of the LJP (Ram Vilas) who has decided to join the NDA after meeting Union Home Minister today; UP’s OP Rajbhar, founder, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, who returned to the NDA on Sunday; Ajit Pawar and Praful Patel of the NCP rebel faction who today announced that they would come for the meeting; Bihar leaders Upendra Kushwaha (Rashtriya Lok Samata Party), Mukesh Sahani (Vikassheel Insaan Party) and HAM chief Jitan Ram Manjhi.
Noting that the NDA was expanding because of growing affiliation of political parties with PM’s good governance agenda, Nadda said the NDA was an ideal alliance because it is meant not for power but for service.
“The NDA alliance is to strengthen India,” the BJP chief said, dismissing the 26-party opposition meeting in Bengaluru as an “opportunistic gathering meant to cover up scams worth Rs 20 lakh crore”.
“Are the son and mother not on bail from court in the National Herald case? The main motive of the opposition meeting is to cover up scams, misgovernance and the corrupt legacy of Congress-led UPA,” Nadda said.
The opposition, meanwhile, described the development as a sign that the BJP was “rattled by their unity”.
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