Even as the capital was abuzz with talk about the formation of the next Cabinet — would Arun Shourie get the finance portfolio or would it be Arun Jaitley? — the BJP top team went into a huddle on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the BJD in Odisha and the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu did not rule out the possibility of supporting a Narendra Modi-led NDA formation. UPA ally NCP, however, dismissed speculation about cosying up to the NDA. BJD chief Naveen Patnaik and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa said they were yet to take any decision on the issue of support and were awaiting the Lok Sabha poll results. The comments came amid speculation that BJP leaders were in touch with these parties for support.
BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari flew into Gandhinagar to meet the party’s prime ministerial candidate Modi to chart the course for the party and the future power dispensation. The meeting was held at the Gujarat chief minister’s official residence in the ministerial enclave.
“We will sit together and decide on the agenda, but one thing is confirmed. Narendrabhai Modi is going to become the next prime minister of this country,” Singh told mediapersons on landing at the Ahmedabad airport. Asked why the leaders had come to Gujarat for the meeting, Singh said, “We frequently keep meeting in Delhi. If he (Modi) were to come to Delhi, naturally the whole day would have been lost. We had telephonic conversation and I said a long talk is not possible on the telephone. So let’s sit together for a while and share our experience on the election campaign.”
Before heading out to meet Modi, Singh, when asked about the role for former deputy prime minister LK Advani, said, “As far as the roles of veteran leaders are concerned, I will call a party meeting to which they will be invited. After thorough discussions with all big leaders, we will decide what role will be played by which person.”
Meanwhile, pledging commitment to non-violence and world peace, Modi on Wednesday greeted the people on the occasion of Buddh Purnima. “We pledge our commitment to world peace, non-violence and service to humankind, ideals that were very close to Lord Buddha,” Modi said on Twitter.
Signalling Modi’s exit from Gujarat, the state cabinet bid farewell to Modi, who presided over its last meeting on Wednesday at the Swarnim Sankul I, which houses the swanky chief minister’s