June 18, 2024

NDA Meets to Decide on Cabinet: Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu Seek Key Posts

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NDA Meets to Decide on Cabinet Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu Seek Key Posts

Summary:The NDA held its first meeting at the new Parliament House after the BJP-led alliance’s election victory, where key allies N Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar sought significant cabinet positions. Despite securing only 240 seats, the BJP’s coalition achieved a total of 293 seats. The TDP and JDU are negotiating for major portfolios, while the BJP aims to retain control over key ministries. PM Modi, set for a third term, will present his claim to form the government to President Droupadi Murmu and is scheduled to take the oath on Sunday, with several South Asian leaders attending.

New Delhi – In a significant political development, newly elected MPs of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) convened at the new Parliament House for the first time since the BJP-led alliance’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections. The meeting holds considerable importance as the BJP, despite its previous strong majorities, fell short of the 272-seat mark needed to form a government independently, securing only 240 seats.

The NDA, now dependent on its allies to form a government, won a total of 293 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Critical to reaching a majority are the support of N Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with 16 seats, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) with 12 seats, Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena with 7 seats, and Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party-Ram Vilas with 5 seats.

Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar have emerged as pivotal figures in this coalition, each seeking significant portfolios in the new cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is set to be sworn in for a record third term on Sunday. Sources indicate that the TDP is requesting five cabinet positions, including the parliamentary speaker, while the JDU is keen on securing two major ministries: railways and rural development.

The BJP, however, appears reluctant to part with control over the four key ministries under the Cabinet Committee on Security, namely defence, finance, home affairs, and external affairs. Additionally, the party aims to retain portfolios crucial to its infrastructure agenda, such as road transport and highways, as well as its welfare initiatives.

Today’s meeting saw discussions among the coalition-era veterans, with Naidu and Kumar consulting their party leaders to strategize their positions. These negotiations are reminiscent of the pre-2014 era, before PM Modi’s outright BJP majority allowed for a more centralized decision-making process.

Following the NDA meeting, PM Modi is expected to present his claim to form a new coalition government to President Droupadi Murmu. The formal election of Modi as the leader of the alliance will take place during the meeting, with a grand swearing-in ceremony scheduled for Sunday evening. The event will be attended by several South Asian leaders, including Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, with invitations also extended to the prime ministers of Nepal, Bhutan, and Mauritius.

As the NDA moves forward with cabinet formation, the dynamics within the coalition and the distribution of key ministerial posts will be crucial in shaping the new government’s agenda and stability.

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