A meeting of NDA’s top leaders, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be held on Monday evening as the ruling alliance puts up a show of strength ahead of elections to the post of the President and Vice President.
Leaders of 31 BJP allies, including the new friends it has won over in Goa and north-east states, will attend the meeting after its president Amit Shah reached out to them.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who has often flayed the saffron party, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu will also attend the meeting.
The BJP sources said the meeting will be a show of strength of the ruling alliance as well as an exercise in taking stock of the national political scene.
The meeting assumes significance as the saffron party will need the support of its allies to push a candidate of its choice for the President’s elections due in July.
Sources, however, insisted that this is not on the agenda of the meeting.
This is only the second meeting of top NDA leaders since the alliance stormed to power in 2014 and could result in smoothing over any differences between the BJP and many of its small allies, some of whom have often complained about lack of communication.
Its allies from Bihar, including Union Ministers Ramvilas Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha besides Jitan Ram Manjhi, from Uttar Pradesh, including Union Minister Anupriya Patel and Om Rajbhar, besides a host of allies from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and other states are expected to attend the meeting.
Former Punjab Chief Minister and Akali stalwart Parkash Singh Badal will also participate, the sources said.
Sajjad Lone from Kashmir, Ramdas Athavale, Raju Shetty and Mahadev Jankar from Maharashtra, Vijai Sardesai and Sudhir Dhavalikar from Goa, P C Thomas and Vellappally from Kerala and Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling will be among those attending the meeting, they said.