Ahead of Narendra Modi`s swearing in, NDA allies jostle up for cabinet berths

With the BJP central leadership giving a final shape to the upcoming Narendra Modi govt, the partners of the NDA have begun hectic parleys and negotiations over their future role and responsibility in the new government.

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Updated: May 20, 2014, 10:53 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: With the BJP central leadership giving a final shape to the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, the partners of the National Democratic Alliance have begun hectic parleys and negotiations over their future role and responsibility in the new government.

Reports on Tuesday said that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will arrive in the national capital today to meet Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi and BJP president Rajnath Singh. Uddhav will also attend the meeting of NDA partners later in the day.

Sources claim that during his interaction with the BJP leaders, the Shiv Sena chief is expected to discuss the government-formation exercise and the likely share of his party in the new council of ministers.

Uddhav is aware that Modi wants to keep his ministry small, in keeping with his motto of "less government, more governance.`` However, Thackeray would still want a good deal for his party.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the Shiv Sena, in alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra, won 18 out of the 48 seats. BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi put up a stunning performance, and the Shiv Sena, BJP combine won 42 seats in a state which sends the second largest contingent of MPs to the Lok Sabha.

The Shiv Sena is also expected to press for accommodating its men in the next reshuffle of governors, the sources claim.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal has indicated that it may not be part of the Narendra Modi government. The indication was thrown by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who said that SAD will not ask for any berth in the new NDA cabinet which is in the process of formation.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has thrown indications that it is keen on joining a Narendra Modi-led coalition government at the Centre.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu is also set to arrive in New Delhi today to attend the NDA partners meet and Modi’s swearing in ceremony as prime minister.

Naidu, who stormed back to power after 10 years in the wilderness by winning 102 of the 175 assembly seats and 15 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Seemandhra region, did not rule out the possibility of his party joining the NDA government.

If the TDP does so, it will be the first time that it will be part of the NDA government. During 1998 and 2004, TDP extended its support to the Vajpayee-led coalition from outside.
LJP led by Ram Vilas Paswan, another NDA faction, may be given a berth in the Union Cabinet. Paswan`s party has won 6 seats in the Lok Sabha polls. The LJP, which left the BJP led alliance soon after the Gujarat riots, came back into the NDA fold shortly before the commencement of 2014 on the grounds that there is no evidence to prove that Modi played a role in the riots.

Ahead of General Elections, BJP cobbled up a six-party rainbow alliance in Tamil Nadu with Vijayakant’s DMDK, PMK, IJK, KMDK and MDMK, Although the grand alliance could not win any seat in Tamil Nadu, which saw ruling AIADMK sweeping the polls by winning 37 seats, it would be interesting to see how Modi accommodates the southern parties in the Union Cabinet.