Ahead of Cabinet formation, Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi today held discussions with his close aide and BJP general secretary Amit Shah and senior party leader Arun Jaitley even as newly-elected BJP MPs met senior RSS functionaries at the Sangh office in New Delhi.
Mr. Modi held the meeting at the Gujarat Bhawan here in Chanakyapuri with Mr. Shah and Mr. Jaitley, who is likely to be inducted in the Cabinet despite losing in the Lok Sabha election.
Former U.P. Chief Minister and senior party leader Kalyan Singh also held discussions with Mr. Modi, who is likely to soon meet NDA allies’ leaders, including Uddhav Thackeray and TDP representatives soon, BJP sources said.
A flurry of meetings took place at Rajnath Singh’s Ashok Road residence with former Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Uma Bharti, Gopinath Munde, Yogi Adityanath, Varun Gandhi and several newly-elected MPs calling on the BJP president.
Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal, which is an alliance partner of BJP in Uttar Pradesh, also met Mr. Rajnath. NDA has won 73 out of the 80 seats in U.P.
“Our alliance has swept Uttar Pradesh and nobody can ignore the importance of the state. The BJP chief has already said that the interests of the alliance partners would be safeguarded. So, there is no need for us to say anything else,” she said.
Newly-elected BJP MPs, including former Home Secretary R.K. Singh, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Delhi MPs Udit Raj, Manoj Tiwari and senior U.P. leader Vinay Katiyar had meetings with RSS senior functionaries at Sangh’s Delhi headquarters in Keshavpuram.
After meeting RSS leaders, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, “Tomorrow is Parliamentary Party meeting and all our MPs are coming and meeting the BJP president and the Sangh leaders. People have old ties and that is why they are coming here as well. The discussions are about tomorrow’s meeting only and no other issue."
Mr. Javadekar, who also met the BJP chief, told reporters, “Only Modi and Rajnath Singh are holding discussions on that issue (of government formation) and other people are just meeting and greeting each other on the election victory.”
BJP MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh Anurag Thakur said he had come to thank the RSS for its support. “BJP works independently and will continue to do so,” he said.
NDA’s ally in Bihar and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ramvilas Paswan, along with his wife and son Chirag, also met Mr. Rajnath at his residence.
“Neither I or Chirag has discussed anything about government formation or Cabinet portfolio with either Modiji or Rajnath Singh. I think this is BJP’s prerogative to decide who will get what post in the new government,” Mr. Paswan said.
NDA ally in Tamil Nadu MDMK chief Vaiko also met Mr. Rajnath.
The meetings come a day after Mr. Modi reached out to party elders L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi as top leaders held parleys on the formation of the new government that will be sworn in this week.