NDA Meets Ends, INDIA Bloc Brainstorms Strategy: 10 Points

The Opposition is not letting grass grow under its feet. A meeting was held this evening where strategy for the coming days was discussed

NDA Meets Ends, INDIA Bloc Brainstorms Strategy: 10 Points
New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu formally signed up with the NDA at a strategy session this evening, pouring cold water on Opposition plans for a re-alignment. The NDA will stake claim to form government soon.

Here are top 10 points on this big story:

  1. The senior leaders of the BJP-led coalition held a show of unity where Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar gave their letters of support, sources said.  On agenda was also a review of election results, details of government formation and some hard bargaining with allies.

  2. The NDA is expected to stake claim to form government soon. Sources have said Narendra Modi, who formally resigned the top post today, will take oath on Saturday for a historic third term.  

  3. Sources also told NDTV that Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu is expected to drive a hard bargain with the BJP -- the Lok Sabha Speaker's seat and a minister's post for every three MPs.

  4. Bihar Chief Minster Nitish Kumar, who was snubbed by Amit Shah in 2019 when he asked for more than one berth in the Union cabinet, is also expected to have his list of demands. Both leaders earlier wanted special status for their states, which was turned down by the BJP.

  5. With the BJP falling hugely short of the majority mark, alliance is the only way forward. There have been questions though whether the BJP, used to running the show on its own since 2014, will be able to pull together with allies.

  6. The letters of support, though, were a dampener for the INDIA bloc, which was pinning hopes on Mr Kumar and Mr Naidu -- erstwhile allies who are now part of the NDA -- for a realignment. Neither leader is known to be rigid. In fact, both have been part of the Opposition earlier.

  7. "The INDIA Alliance welcomes all parties which shares its fundamental commitment to the values enshrined in the Preamble to our Constitution and to its many provisions for economic, social and political justice," Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said in his opening comments.

  8. Mr Kumar played a key role in the Opposition even four months ago and was responsible for starting the initiative for a cohesive opposition bloc. But he changed sides -- again -- upset over the leadership issue. Mr Naidu, who quit NDA and became part of the Opposition, took a U-turn in February.  Earlier today, while walking into the NDA meeting, he told reporters he was with the NDA.

  9. Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has responded with a jab. On X, formerly Twitter, he posted a video where Mr Naidu is heard criticizing the BJP. "All leaders are better than Narendra Modi," he is heard saying in an interview to NDTV.

  10. The BJP won 240 seats and 293 with its allies -- 28 of them are contributions of Mr Kumar and Mr Naidu, who is also the Chief Minister-elect of Andhra Pradesh with a spectacular comeback under his belt. The INDIA bloc has 232 seats, 99 from Congress alone.

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