Modi lays stress on consensus at NDA meet

JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar promises unswerving support for Modi, says he believes everything Bihar requires will be done; TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu acknowledges role of BJP leaders in Andhra Pradesh victory; Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde hails ‘Fevicol Bond’ between Sena and BJP

Updated - June 07, 2024 11:45 pm IST

Published - June 07, 2024 06:05 pm IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi addresses the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Parliamentary Party meeting, at the Samvidhan Sadan, in New Delhi on June 7, 2024.

Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi addresses the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Parliamentary Party meeting, at the Samvidhan Sadan, in New Delhi on June 7, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

The spirit of an alliance government taking its place after 10 years of single-party majority regime was very much in evidence at the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) Parliamentary Party meet held on Friday to elect Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its leader.

The proceedings kicked off with a grand welcome for Mr. Modi who was greeted and garlanded by NDA MPs and alliance party leaders, many of whom shared the main dais with him at the head of the Central Hall of the Old Parliament House (Samvidhan Sadan).

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In his address to the MPs and leaders, Mr. Modi emphasised that he would strive to ensure “sarvamat” or consensus in all decisions of his next government, and said that the NDA wasn’t just an agglomeration of parties but a grouping of those who put the nation first and were known, in the 22 States governed by these parties, for good governance. “If we look at it in terms of numbers in the history of coalitions, this is the strongest coalition government,” Mr. Modi said. “We have never lost. Our conduct following June 4 shows that we know how to digest victory,” he said. He also recalled stalwarts of the old NDA under former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, such as socialist leaders Sharad Yadav and George Fernandes, for their crucial contributions.

Andhra Pradesh CM-elect N. Chandrababu Naidu, whose Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is the largest ally of the BJP in the NDA, also spoke on the theme, taking the time to acknowledge the effect of the joint campaign that the BJP, Jana Sena Party and the TDP undertook to gain the mandate in that State. “Home Minister [Amit Shah] came and addressed one meeting - a powerful meeting which made a big difference. Even Rajnath Singhji, Naddaji [BJP chief J.P. Nadda] and so many other leaders had come and addressed meetings which gave confidence to people that the Centre is with the State,” he said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, leader of the Janata Dal (United), the third largest party in the alliance and known to change sides, made it a point to address the elephant in the room. “I will be with the PM at all times,” he said, adding that his party was offering unswerving support to Mr. Modi. “We are assured that everything Bihar requires will be done and it is the Prime Minister who has served the country, and others who are making noises haven’t done anything,” he said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde invoked late Shiv Sena leader Balasaheb Thackeray during his speech to underline the importance of the Sena-BJP alliance, considered one of the oldest in the NDA, which has continued in a modified form after the former’s split.

“What I will say is that the Sena-BJP alliance was forged by Balasaheb Thackeray based on a common ideology and it is a ‘Fevicol Bond’ that will not break,” he said.

As discussions got under way for distribution of portfolios and Ministries under the new government, all alliance partners are hoping that the spirit of generosity and bonhomie prevails.

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