Top BJP leaders on Sunday engaged in consultations among themselves over government formation with Narendra Modi calling on party elders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi separately at their residences to solicit their suggestions, reports Express News Service in New Delhi.
Modi’s meeting with party elders assumes significance in the wake of speculation over the role of seniors in the the dispensation under him. While sources earlier indicated that Joshi was not averse to joining the government, there were suggestions that Advani may be offered an alternative post — speaker of the Lok Sabha.
While several BJP leaders – Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, party general secretaries Ananth Kumar, JP Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan – called on Modi at Gujarat Bhavan, leaders of NDA partners – LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Naga People’s Front (NPF) leaders Neiphiu Rio – also met Modi. Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, too, called on Modi.
Meanwhile, BJP president Rajnath Singh held a meeting with senior party leader Arun Jaitley, and party general secretaries Amit Shah and Ramlal to discuss government formation-related issues.
While party sources remained tight-lipped about the internal deliberations, sources sought to clarify that Modi will have a free hand in choosing his Cabinet and described these meetings as a suggestion-gathering exercise.
Several party leaders on Sunday also dropped in at RSS office at Jhandewalan in the capital to call on top RSS leaders – Bhaiyaaji Joshi and Suresh Soni. Those who dropped in at Jhandewalan included former party chief Venkaiah Naidu came in the morning, and senior party leader Sushma Swaraj in the evening. Other senior party leaders like Gopinath Munde and Rajiv Pratap Rudy too dropped in at Jhandewalan through the day.
RSS sources, however, sought to suggest that these were courtesy meetings and most leaders expressed their gratitude for the help provided by local RSS cadres during the elections.
Though party leaders maintained silence over the exact contours of Modi’s Cabinet, senior party leaders sought to underline adequate representation from all geographical reasons of the country either from the party MPs or the alliance partners. “Once this is certain, the geographical representation for the party will be ensured to deepen party’s presence even in those areas where our vote shares went up but we did not manage that many seats,” confided a senior party leader. Party leaders, in this context suggested that while Modi will have a final call on the