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NDA allies, others redraw strategies

Andhra-CM elect and YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy met PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah in Capital on Sunday.

, ET Bureau|
May 27, 2019, 07.29 AM IST
With BJP getting absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, its allies and parties like YSR Congress have come to terms with the reality and are ‘willing’ to be part of NDA on BJP’s terms.

Andhra-CM elect and YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy met PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah in Capital on Sunday. During the campaign, Jagan maintained he would extend support to any government at the Centre that would give special status to Andhra. But, on Sunday, after meeting the PM, Jagan said: “Today was the first meeting with PM. God willing I will meet him maybe 30, 40, 50 times over the next five years. I’ll remind him every time of special category status. As long as we keep reminding, things will change.” He added the situation would have been different had BJP won just 250 seats. In that case, his ‘party would have supported only after getting a commitment on the special category status’.

BJP’s partners like Shiv Sena, JDU, LJP, SAD, Apna Dal and others are hoping to get representation in the new government. “We are BJP’s oldest ally and despite our parting ways for few months, we are likeminded parties,” a Sena leader told ET. The party is in discussion with BJP for three ministerial, two Cabinet and one MoS berths.

JDU is also likely to become a part of the government but party chief Nitish Kumar is yet to hold talks with BJP chief Amit Shah over the number of Cabinet berths. In Arunachal Pradesh assembly elections, BJP emerged as the leading party and JDU the main opposition. “Since we are part of NDA, we would like to work with BJP in Arunachal,” said a senior JDU leader. “Our leader George Fernandes was even NDA convener,” said JDU’s KC Tyagi. “In Bihar, we have given fair representation to BJP in Cabinet and we hope PM Modi will do justice with our party in Delhi.”

LJP is sure of getting one Cabinet birth like last time and the discussion within the party is who should get it —father Ram Vilas Paswan or son Chirag. While the father wants his son to become a minister, the son wants another term for his father.

SAD, which had a ministerial berth in last government, hopes to get inducted this time too. “We have been with BJP in their good and bad times. But that doesn’t mean we have entitlement,” said SAD’s Naresh Gujral. “Choosing Cabinet is PM’s prerogative.”

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