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Sena effect: NDA allies pitch for better coordination, demand convener

Sena effect

New Delhi, November 17: The shadow of an imminent divorce between the BJP and the Shiv Sena loomed large over an NDA meeting on Sunday ahead of the Parliament session, with allies pitching for a mechanism to improve coordination and Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing the ruling alliance as “one big family.”
In his introductory remarks at the meeting, not attended by the Sena, Modi said NDA allies may have different ideologies but they are like one big family and should not get unsettled by small differences.
Later he tweeted, “Had a very good NDA meeting. Our alliance represents India’s diversity and the aspirations of 130 crore Indians. Together, we will leave no stone unturned in ushering a qualitative change in the lives of our farmers, youngsters, Nari Shakti and the poorest of the poor.”
The meeting, also attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP’s working president JP Nadda, was called for better floor management and coordination during the winter session, beginning on Monday.
Various NDA allies, including newly appointed LJP president Chirag Paswan, desired to have a convener or coordination committee to sort out differences.
“I personally felt the absence of Shiv Sena in the meeting today, it was one of the oldest allies of NDA. It’s a matter of concern that the Telugu Desam Party left the alliance first and then the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party,” Paswan said.
He said what happened between the BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra could have been avoided if there would have been better coordination among NDA allies.
“But all of us (allies) will work together in the upcoming session and more such meetings should happen,” he said.
“An NDA convener or a coordination committee should be formed for better understanding among allies,” said the chief of the Lok Janshakti Party, a key NDA constituent in Bihar.
According to sources, Apna Dal, JD(U) and a few allies from the north-eastern states also made similar suggestions.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party fell out with the BJP over sharing of chief minister’s post after the two allies won a comfortable majority in last month’s assembly polls. Sena’s lone minister in the Modi government, Arvind Sawant, resigned his post on November 11.
The LJP has announced that unlike last time, it will not fight Jharkhand Assembly election in alliance with BJP and contest separately.
Meanwhile at the meeting of the BJP parliamentary party before the NDA meeting, Modi stressed on ensuring higher attendance of BJP lawmakers in both houses during the session.
Later in a tweet, Modi said he had an extensive meeting with BJP’s parliamentary group.
“Our party will utilise the upcoming Parliamentary session to further our views on various developmental issues and contribute to transforming people’s lives,” he said. (PTI)