'Don't Take Us For Granted,' Say BJP's Allies Ahead Of Budget Session

'Don't Take Us For Granted,' Say BJP's Allies Ahead Of Budget Session
New Delhi: Days before the crucial Budget session of Parliament begins, the BJP's allies have sent the ruling party a stern warning: "Don't take us for granted." The Akali Dal has suggested that the current BJP leadership should treat allies "like Atal Bihari Vajpayee did."

Here are the latest developments:

  1. The BJP's effort to create a consensus with allies on key issues for the session ran into rough weather at a meeting it called on Monday. The BJP partners had many complaints and strong words to offer.

  2. The National Democratic Alliance or NDA meet was attended by top guns of most parties, including BJP president Amit Shah, Sukhbir Badal of the Akali Dal and Chandrababu Naidu, chief of the Telugu Desam Party or TDP.

  3. Mr Badal is said to have told the BJP president that "the allies in the NDA are being taken for granted. The BJP needs to listen to it's allies like (former Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee did as the head of the NDA."

  4. Mr Badal also asked the BJP to rein in its Punjab leaders, alleging that over the last few months they have pitched to break the alliance with the Akali Dal. Mr Badal also asked the BJP to clarify it's stand on the alliance.

  5. Mr Badal had more strong words of warning. "Neither Muslims nor Christians are with the BJP. Why is the party now trying to alienate the Sikhs who have supported the BJP," said the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, where assembly elections will be held next year.

  6. The Shiv Sena which has shared an uneasy relationship with the BJP for some time now in Maharashtra, also used the opportunity to target the BJP. The Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said, according to a source, "the BJP's approach over the last 20 months has been to undermine it's allies."

  7. TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu had advice to offer at the meeting, saying the BJP needs to strengthen it's allies.

  8. The ally trouble has galvanised the BJP into holding a series of one-on-one meetings with alliance leaders. Mr Naidu met Amit Shah in the morning and is meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi now. Mr Badal will meet Mr Shah later this evening.

  9. Following complaints of a lack of coordination and communication, the BJP has also decided to hold regular meetings with them and to adopt a common policy approach under which all NDA lawmakers will get updates on policy decisions and initiatives.

  10. The BJP can ill-afford a set of unhappy partners as it braces for a renewed attack on multiple fronts from an opposition lining up its ammunition for the Budget Session, which begins on February 23.