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BJP eyes grand show of strength of its alliance, 38 parties confirm presence

BJP eyes grand show of strength of its alliance, 38 parties confirm presence
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New Delhi, Jul 18 (PTI) The BJP is eying a grand show of strength of its alliance on Tuesday with party president J P Nadda asserting that 38 constituents of the ruling NDA have confirmed their participation in the meeting where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be present.

This will be the first such meeting of the BJP-led NDA during the second term of the Modi government and underscores the party’s focus on highlighting its ability to make alliances at a time when opposition parties have been meeting to forge unity in the run-up to 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The NDA meeting will see the presence of several new BJP allies like the Shiv Sena led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the NCP faction led by Ajit Pawar and many of its former partners, such as Chirag Paswan, O P Rajbhar, Upendra Kushwaha and Jitan Ram Manjhi, who have decided to return to its fold.

BJP leaders said the allies present in the meeting will be from all regions of the country, highlighting the expansion of its alliance under the Modi government.

The Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) became the latest entrant to the NDA with its leader Chirag Paswan meeting Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday.

“Chirag Paswan has decided to join the NDA led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I welcome him to the NDA family,” Nadda said.

“Thirty-eight parties have confirmed their participation in the NDA meeting to be held Tuesday evening,” he told reporters.

After losing a number of its traditional allies such as the Janata Dal (United), Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and Akali Dal, the BJP has succeeded in making alliances with several new parties.

The BJP president has sent invites to these parties for their presence in the meeting where Modi and other senior leaders of the ruling party will be present.

“Ajit Pawar and I will be present at the NDA meeting in Delhi,” NCP Working President Praful Patel told reporters in Mumbai.

Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan and RLJD leader Kushwaha have said they would be attending the NDA meeting.

Parties such as AIADMK of Tamil Nadu and a number of parties from northeastern states and other parts of the country will also be present in the meeting.

Regional parties, including those with a small but solid share of votes in a particular region or caste, can be crucial in swinging the balance in the polls in several seats in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which send 80 and 40 members to Parliament respectively.

With the BJP making all-out efforts to retain its majority in Lok Sabha for a third straight term, its leadership has made pragmatic adjustments to accommodate new allies while also working to weaken the opposition bloc in crucial states like Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress has asserted that the Opposition unity would be “a game changer” for the Indian political scenario and took a swipe at the BJP, saying those who used to talk of defeating the opposition parties alone are now making attempts to breathe new life into the NDA which had become a “ghost”.

“Attempts are being made to breathe new life into the NDA. There used to be no talk about NDA and suddenly in the past few days, we are hearing and reading about it. So NDA, which had become a ghost, attempts are now being made to breathe a new life into it,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had said.


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