NDA Endorses Modi as Alliance Leader Amid Negotiations for Key Portfolios

NDA leaders formally elect narendra modi as alliance leader for third term
Preeti Bali / 7:22 am / June 7, 2024

In a meeting on Wednesday, the NDA officially endorsed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its leader, while behind-the-scenes negotiations over key portfolios and concessions for states were ongoing, sources reported. The BJP issued a statement following the afternoon meeting at Modi’s residence, announcing his unanimous selection as leader, with coalition partners commending his dedication to nation-building.


Formal Election and Swearing-In Ceremony

Modi is set to be formally elected as the NDA leader in a meeting with the newly elected MPs on Friday, with his swearing-in for a third term expected on Saturday, according to BJP officials.


Coalition Negotiations

Sources from key partners, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Janata Dal (United) (JDU), disclosed the intense negotiations typical of coalition governments that were taking place behind the scenes. These negotiations suggest the unique challenges Modi 3.0 faces. TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu, known for his adeptness in coalition politics, is seeking the Lok Sabha Speaker’s position for his party, in addition to demanding “special category status” for Andhra Pradesh. Naidu’s demands also include the home and defense portfolios, currently held by Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, respectively.


JDU’s Demands

Bihar Chief Minister and JDU leader Nitish Kumar is similarly pushing for concessions for his state, seeing a rare opportunity to meet long-standing demands. A JDU representative mentioned Kumar’s call for a nationwide caste census, akin to the one conducted in Bihar.


Strategic Importance of TDP and JDU

The TDP’s 16 MPs and the JDU’s 12 are vital for the BJP, which holds 240 seats in a House where the majority mark is 272. Naidu, poised to become Andhra Pradesh’s chief minister, had exited the NDA in 2018 over the issue of special category status, which provides states with increased central funding, grants, and industrial incentives. A TDP leader emphasized the importance of this status for Andhra Pradesh, particularly after the bifurcation that led to the creation of Telangana in 2014.


Concerns Over Party Defections

The TDP is adamant about securing the Speaker’s post, aware of the BJP’s ability to induce party defections to secure a majority. This concern is underscored by the defection of four out of six TDP Rajya Sabha members to the BJP shortly after the 2019 elections. The TDP, having previously been allocated a cabinet post and a junior ministerial position in Modi’s first government, is now seeking a larger share given the BJP’s reliance on its support.


Nitish Kumar’s Aspirations

Nitish Kumar is reportedly targeting key ministries that would facilitate projects in Bihar, especially in agriculture and rural development. Meanwhile, Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, with five MPs, is vying for the railways portfolio, a position long held by his late father, Ram Vilas Paswan.


BJP Leadership’s Role in Negotiations

The BJP has tasked senior leaders Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, and party president J.P. Nadda with negotiating with allies to finalize the structure of the new government.


More Stories