Widening of NDA base comes amid rumours of the formation of a new front

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance on Sunday inducted into its fold the Janata Party, led by the former MP, Subramanian Swamy, who has been spearheading a campaign for prosecution of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

The decision was taken at a meeting of floor leaders of all the partners at the residence of veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani, ahead of the commencement of the budget session of Parliament on Monday.

Senior BJP leader S.S. Ahluwalia told journalists that the NDA acceded to the request of Mr. Swamy for inclusion of his party as a member of the alliance, taking its strength to six parties. The other constituents are the Janata Dal (United), the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the Shiv Sena and Ramdas Athawale-led Republican Party of India (A).

The meeting was that of only floor leaders and hence leaders of the JP and the RPI, with no representation in either House of Parliament, were not present.

The widening of the NDA comes amid rumours of the formation of a new front, particularly in the wake of the abject performance of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. The NDA is seeking to consolidate and stave off any possible threat to the alliance.

The SAD has invited all non-Congress Chief Ministers to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Parkash Singh Badal as Chief Minister for a second term in succession.

Among others, the Trinamool Congress, an ally of the Congress-led UPA, has decided to send representatives to the function.

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