NDA elects Narendra Modi as its leader as government formation process gets underway

Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, J.P. Nadda deputed to meet allies on the contours of the new coalition government; TDP chief reportedly demands Central aid for Andhra Pradesh; swearing-in likely over the weekend

Updated - June 06, 2024 01:09 pm IST

Published - June 05, 2024 09:57 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the other NDA leaders after a meeting, in New Delhi on June 5, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the other NDA leaders after a meeting, in New Delhi on June 5, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

The process of government formation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third term was set in motion on June 5, with the parties of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) unanimously passing a resolution electing Mr. Modi as their leader in a meeting at the PM’s official residence.

In all, 21 NDA leaders signed the resolution, which appreciated Mr. Modi’s efforts in nation-building, welfare of the poor, and development, adding that they were all partners in that effort.

“After a very long gap, of almost 6 decades, the people of India have chosen a powerful leader with an absolute majority for the third consecutive time,” the resolution read, adding that the signatories were “proud that the NDA fought and won the 2024 Lok Sabha elections unitedly under the leadership of Narendra Modi. We NDA leaders unanimously choose Narendra Modi as our leader.”

The meeting was attended by BJP president J.P. Nadda, BJP leaders Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, and the BJP’s allies, including Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu, Shiv Sena chief Eknath Shinde, Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, Janasena Party chief Pawan Kalyan, Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan, and Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar faction) leader Praful Patel, among others.

Coalition negotiations

The path for government formation is being prepared, with a meeting of the NDA parliamentary party scheduled for June 7 to allow the alliance’s MPs to endorse the resolution, after which Mr. Modi will stake a formal claim to form the government before President Droupadi Murmu.

With the BJP falling 32 seats short of a full majority on its own in the Lok Sabha, the distribution of Ministries and the shape of the new coalition government will require some mediation. According to sources, Mr. Singh, Mr. Shah and Mr. Nadda will hold meetings with alliance partners to hammer out the details.

The swearing-in ceremony for the Prime Minister’s third term will likely take place over the weekend, either on June 8 or 9. “Prime Minister Modi has a preference for June 9, but that is also the day that Chandrababu Naidu wanted his own oath-taking ceremony [as CM of Andhra Pradesh], so either of them could move the date, with Mr. Naidu taking oath on June 12, or PM Modi going ahead with June 8,” said a source.

Central aid for A.P.

“The alliance is strong and all are on board. We are still working out a formula for Ministerial berths, etc,” said a senior BJP leader involved in the negotiations. Mr. Naidu spoke to journalists after the meetings, reiterating that he was “firmly” with the NDA. “Where is the doubt?” he queried, when asked about the INDIA bloc’s repeated assertions that he was an unreliable ally in the NDA. JD(U) leader Rajeev Ranjan Singh also released a statement stating that his party stood with the NDA “like a rock”.

Mr. Naidu met with BJP leader Piyush Goyal for half an hour after the NDA meeting was over, with sources saying that Mr. Naidu’s “asks” this time around revolved around securing Central aid for Andhra Pradesh which, he said, was in dire straits financially. “His ‘asks’ from the Centre will be largely on those lines,” said a source.

Meanwhile, the President dissolved the 17th Lok Sabha on Wednesday after the recommendation of the Union Cabinet. Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister tendered his resignation, along with his Council of Ministers, to President Murmu. She accepted the resignation and requested that Mr. Modi and his Council of Ministers continue until the new government assumes office.

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