32 Allies At PM Narendra Modi's Big Dinner Tonight, Sena's Uddhav Thackeray Attends: 10 Points


PM Modi has called for a meeting with the 32 allies of the BJP in the NDA government.

The Shiv Sena will support the BJP's choice for President, the party said, as it attempts to thaw relations with its ally ahead of a meeting and dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his party's 32 partners this evening. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will attend the meeting in Delhi at 6 pm, which will focus on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance's strategy for the Presidential election in July and the vice-presidential elections in August. The Congress has indicated that it could name its own candidates making it a contest.
Here are the top 10 points in this story:
  1. The attempt is to ensure all allies are on board. In the past the Shiv Sena and the Janata Dal(United) when it was a part of the NDA, have chosen not to support the alliance's nominee. The Sena in fact voted for the Congress' nominees for President the last two times. 
  2. The BJP doesn't want to take any chances as it will be a very close contest if the opposition puts up candidates for President and Vice President. The President of India is elected by an electoral college that's formed by 776 parliamentarians - both houses - and 4,120 legislators. 
  3. Each vote is important and so BJP leaders like Manohar Parrikar and Adityanath Yogi, who have taken over as chief ministers this year, but have not yet been elected to the assemblies in their states, have been told not to quit their parliamentary seats. 
  4. The Shiv Sena, the BJP's oldest ally, had earlier threatened to boycott today's meeting after its Member of Parliament Ravindra Gaikwad was banned by airlines for assaulting an Air India employee. The ban has been lifted.
  5. Today's big NDA meeting is the second such event since the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance or NDA came to power in 2014. Since then, the BJP has added more allies as it has won new states and the party will showcase through them its growing strength and ppresence across the country. 
  6. The BJP established governments in four more states last month, including Uttar Pradesh where it has won a gigantic mandate, and acquired new allies. Some BJP allies who are not members of the NDA will also attend today's meeting.
  7. BJP national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav said the BJP is now present in every state and that the party is "moving ahead on the PM's mantra of sabka saath sabka vikas (development for all.)"
  8. BJP leaders pointed out that the party's allies are a rich representation of different communities and regions. There is the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and Sajjad Lone in Muslim-majority Kashmir, a Christian party in Kerala led by PC Thomas, Jitan Ram Manjhi in Bihar who is a Dalit leader and many small regional parties. 
  9. The NDA, thus, they said, represents people from across the country. The BJP has in recent elections established a footprint in states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu by allying with small regional parties, pushing up up its vote share. 
  10. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam chief Chandrababu Naidu and his Jammu and Kashmir counterpart Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP are among those who will attend.  BJP chief Amit Shah and other senior party leaders as well as several union ministers will also attend today's meeting.   

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Meeting will focus on NDA's strategy for Presidential elections in July
Will support BJP's choice for President: Shiv Sena
Congress could name its own candidates making it a contest

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