AHEAD of announcement of poll results Friday, BJP leaders took stock of the party’s poll prospects and also discussed post-poll arrangements for top BJP leaders within the party and NDA.
BJP president Rajnath Singh called on party patriarch L K Advani to discuss tentative issues before the Parliamentary Board meeting slated on May 17 and also about scheduling the meeting of BJP parliamentary party to elect new leader. Sources indicated the meeting of the party’s newly elected members may be called either on May 18 or 19 to elect the BJP parliamentary party leader and pave the way for the NDA meetings subsequently.
While sources suggested that Advani and Sushma Swaraj have stonewalled attempts to discuss their future roles before the announcement of results, a strong section of party is learnt to be keen to settle this issue before taking up other issues.
Also, party sources indicated that Rajnath’s role in the government was also on the agenda even after Singh’s public declaration to be in the organisation. “Singh’s unilateral announcement was his personal declaration of intent. But these issues will be resolved holistically keeping various factors in mind,” a source said, indicating pressure on Singh to be part of Narendra Modi-led government to avoid the possibility of dual power centres.
Party leaders sought to suggest that senior party leader Uma Bharti’s meeting with Advani was also aimed to persuade the party patriarch to not stonewall party’s attempts to rehabilitate him according to party’s preference. Bharti also met Nitin Gadkari while party general secretary Varun Gandhi called on Gadkari and Rajnath Singh separately.
Apart from BJP’s internal issues, sources indicated that the BJP leaders’ meeting in Ahmedabad Wednesday had also decided to not hesitate to rope in more allies even after NDA manages to secure majority on its own. “Broadening the alliance partners is one issue that the party is keen even after NDA getting the majority on its own. The reason is the requirement of numbers in Rajya Sabha where NDA may fall short of majority otherwise,” said party source.
The BJP president Thursday revealed the support of North-East Regional Political Front (NERPF) to the NDA. “The NERPF has decided to pledge its support to the NDA in forming a stable government at the Centre. Nagaland CM Shri Neiphiu Rio has conveyed this message through a letter to me,” Singh announced on Twitter.
Party leaders, in this backdrop, sought to play down speculation about ministerial berths to top BJP leaders being considered by the party.
Earlier in the day, RSS joint general secretary Suresh Soni met the BJP president and RSS leaders assigned to hold organisational positions in the BJP to take stock of party’s prospects. Party general secretary Amit Shah joined the meeting as well.