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NDA elects Modi its leader

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Oath-taking ceremony likely to take place on Saturday

New Delhi, June 5: Preparing to take oath for a third straight term as the head of a coalition government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s members who unanimously elected him as its leader.
NDA MPs will meet on June 7 to formally elect Modi as their leader and the alliance leaders will then go to the President to submit their letters of support, HAM (Secular) leader and former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi said after attending the meeting.
The swearing-in ceremony is likely to take place on June 8, some sources said, adding that there is a view to wrap up the formalities quickly to not allow any mood of uncertainty to build up, something a buoyant opposition may push.
How soon the BJP and its allies reach an agreement on matters like the share of ministries each party may get and other terms of negotiations could also be a factor in deciding the timing of the swearing-in or they could put off the tricky issues for resolution at a later stage.
TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, LJP(R) leader Chirag Paswan, JD(S) leader HD Kumarawamy, Jana Sena’s Pawan Kalyan, AGP’s Atul Bora and NCP’s Praful Patel were among the 21 leaders from 16 parties who attended the meeting besides Modi and BJP’s Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and J P Nadda.
A resolution passed at the meeting said the NDA government will continue working to lift people’s living standards for the country’s all-round development while conserving its heritage.
Janata Dal (United) leader Sanjay Jha, who was present in the meeting, said the formalities related to the formation of the government at the Centre under Modi are expected to be over soon.
All parties expressed confidence in Modi’s leadership, he added.
The NDA has won 293 seats in the Lok Sabha election, comfortably above the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member House, paving the way for Modi to take the oath for a third consecutive term, a first for any ruling alliance since 1962.
However, it will be a different act for him this time as the BJP has fallen well short of the majority and depends on allies for the government-formation after enjoying a comfortable majority on its own in the previous two terms of his government.
In terms of their parties’ strength, Naidu, Kumar and Shinde are the three biggest NDA constituents in that order after the BJP. The parties of Naidu and Kumar, who together command the support of 28 MPs, have rubbished speculation on their future moves. Naidu has reiterated his support to the BJP, a view echoed by JD(U)’s Jha as well.
Asked by a reporter if he is in the NDA, Naidu shot back,”We contested the elections together. Why do you doubt.”
Modi said at the meeting that it was a historic mandate for the NDA’s third consecutive government which, he noted, was last received in the country over 60 years back. (PTI)

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