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Narendra Modi may stake claim to form NDA govt on 20 May

LiveMint logoLiveMint 18-05-2014 Gyan Varma

Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial nominee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is likely to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on 20 May to stake claim to form the government, after a meeting of BJP parliamentarians.

The BJP is also likely to call a meeting of its partners in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on the same day to choose Modi as the leader of the coalition.

Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan, L.K. Advani, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje of the BJP met Modi on Sunday to discuss the possible cabinet of ministers. Modi also met veteran party leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

Meanwhile, Mukherjee has signed the order to dissolve the 15 Lok Sabha, as advised by the government on Saturday.

“The Cabinet, in its meeting held yesterday, had advised the President to dissolve the Fifteenth Lok Sabha with immediate effect,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a statement. “The President accepted the advice of the Cabinet and signed the Order dissolving the 15th Lok Sabha in exercise of the powers conferred upon him.”

BJP leaders met on Sunday to discuss the possible cabinet portfolios, a party leader said on condition of anonymity, adding that Advani may not be made Lok Sabha Speaker. Advani and Swaraj did not initially back Modi’s elevation as chief election campaigner of the party and its prime ministerial candidate.

“A lot of these meetings are because of cabinet formation and also courtesy calls,” another BJP leader said, requesting anonymity. “People are meeting Narendra Modi and congratulating him on the recent victory in the Lok Sabha polls.”

About his meeting with Modi on Sunday, Paswan said it was a “courtesy call”.

Modi is likely to capitalise on his charisma that was in a large way responsible for the BJP’s victory in the national elections, a Mumbai-based political analyst said.

“It is possible that Narendra Modi is trying to enforce the Brand Modi in the cabinet also,” said Jai Mrug. “Modi has already established his image after the victory in general elections, and he wants to continue to build his image of a man who wants to focus on reforms.”

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