Bharatiya Janata Party President Jagat Prakash Nadda announced that 38 political parties have confirmed their participation in the upcoming meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). This development comes as both the ruling alliance and opposition parties gear up for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Nadda stated during a press conference that invitations have been extended to existing and new BJP allies, as the party has been actively working to form fresh alliances and regain the support of those who had previously left the ruling coalition.
Highlighting the milestone of NDA completing 30 years and Prime Minister Narendra Modi completing 10 years in power, Nadda stated that the objective of Tuesday's meeting is to discuss the promotion of the developmental agenda, as well as the Prime Minister's schemes and policies for the comprehensive progress of the country.
When asked about the parties participating in the NDA meeting, Nadda declined to disclose the names, emphasizing that the attendees will be known once the meeting commences.
Addressing a press conference concurrent with the ongoing unity meeting of the Opposition in Bengaluru, BJP President Nadda emphasised that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is an exemplary alliance aimed at serving and strengthening the nation. He asserted that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) lacks both leadership and decision-making abilities, portraying it as a coalition driven by self-interests and photo opportunities.
Commending the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nadda said that there has been a rise in intolerance against corruptions. "The PM has also set an example in Cavid-19 management. Good governance work has been done in the last 9 years by the NDA government and we are continuously working on it. Rs 28 lakh crore have been directly transferred to the beneficiaries," the BJP President said.
Tuesday's meeting serves as a display of strength by the ruling alliance and a gathering of opposition parties. Nadda, however, assured that representatives from all regions would be present, showcasing the expanded strength of the NDA. The BJP has faced criticism for failing to maintain unity among its allies after losing several traditional partners such as the Janata Dal (United), Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray, and Akali Dal.
Nevertheless, the BJP has successfully formed alliances with various parties, including the Shiv Sena led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the Ajit Pawar-led faction of the NCP, O P Rajbhar-led SBSP in Uttar Pradesh, and Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and Upendra Kushwala-led RLSP.
The invitations sent by Nadda extend to several parties to attend the meeting, which will feature addresses by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders. Notable participants include the AIADMK of Tamil Nadu, Pawan Kalyan's Jan Sena of Andhra Pradesh, and representatives from half a dozen parties from the northeastern states.
This NDA meeting holds significant importance as it marks the first large-scale gathering during the second term of the Modi government. It underscores the ruling party's determination to showcase its credentials as the leading coalition partner in preparation for the Lok Sabha elections, expected to take place in April-May.
Regional parties, even with a smaller share of votes within a specific region or caste, can play a crucial role in influencing the outcome of the elections in multiple constituencies, particularly in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
As the BJP strives to secure a majority for a third consecutive term in the Lok Sabha, its leadership has made pragmatic adjustments to accommodate new allies while also working to weaken the opposition bloc in crucial states like Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
Responding to questions, Nadda stated that his party is yet to finalize its opponents for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, as there is uncertainty regarding its leadership, agenda, and the possibility of competing against each other. In a retort, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge ridiculed the BJP's coalition-building efforts by combining "splintered parties" to demonstrate strength and numbers, highlighting that many of them lack parliamentary representation and electoral prospects.
While confirming the presence of the 38 parties at tomorrow's meeting, the BJP chief said, "In the last 9 years, we have seen the strong leadership of PM Modi which has been appreciated by many. Zero tolerance for corruption has also increased. The PM has also set an example in Covid19 management."