Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. (Source: PTI)

Election 2019: BJP, Congress Hold Key Meetings With Allies

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NDA Passes Resolution

At the BJP-led ruling alliance meeting, which was attended by 36 parties, a resolution was passed, terming the 2019 general election decisive for the country and pledging to make India “strong, developed, prosperous and inclusive” by 2022—when India completes 75 years of its independence—Union minister Rajnath Singh told reporters.

In his address, Modi stressed on the need to change the narrative from caste lines and orient it for the poor, Singh said. The resolution was proposed by BJP ally and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami were among the BJP allies who attended the dinner-meeting hosted by BJP president Amit Shah.

KC Venugopal Meets HD Kumaraswamy

Amid simmering discontent in the ruling coalition’s alliance partner Congress, party General Secretary K C Venugopal held discussions with top Congress leaders in Karnataka and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on recent political developments and the Lok Sabha exit poll results.

During the meeting Venugopal is said to have assured there would be no threat to the coalition government, amid speculations about its survival after the Lok Sabha poll results, Congress sources said.

JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy not attending the meeting of opposition leaders on the EVM issue is said to have triggered the meeting. Kumaraswamy, who was scheduled to travel to Delhi Tuesday morning, cancelled it at the last moment.

Ahead of the meeting with the Chief Minister, Venugopal, along with KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao, Deputy ChiefMinister G Parameshwara, met Siddaramaiah at his residence and held discussions.

Modi Likens His Campaign To A Pilgrimage In Meeting

Prime Minister Modi likened his campaign to a pilgrimage, saying it stood out from other polls as it was being fought by the people and not the party alone.

He made these remarks at a meeting of ministers of his government at the BJP headquarters where he thanked them for their work, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters.

“I have seen many elections but this one was beyond politics. Public was fighting them. I have campaigned in assembly elections and undertaken political tours for the party in different elections. When I toured during these polls, it seemed that I was on a pilgrimage,” the prime minister was quoted as saying.

He met Union ministers from the BJP as well as allies at the meeting- called ‘Aabhar milan’ hosted by party president Amit Shah. The BJP chief also later hosted a dinner for party leaders and allies.

The BJP described the meeting as an occasion to thank ministers for “their service to the nation” ahead of the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha election on May 23, following which a new government will assume charge.

Kejriwal Dials Akhilesh

Arvind Kejriwal spoke to Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav over the phone on Tuesday to discuss the strategy to be followed after the announcement of the general election results on May 23.

Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh told reporters here that the two leaders decided that their priority is to stop the Bharatiya Janata Party from returning to power at the Centre. Singh also met Yadav in Lucknow and they discussed the current political situation.

Yadav posted a picture on Twitter of him and Singh together, saying “AAP ke saath”. Kejriwal responded to the tweet, saying, “We are also with you Akhilesh ji”.

A Day To Cement Alliances

Top opposition leaders met today in New Delhi, ahead of the Lok Sabha results on Thursday, to discuss the possibility of a forging an alliance that can stake claim to forming a government.

The leaders that took part in the meeting include: Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress; Telugu Desam Party's Chandrababu Naidu; Satish Chandra Misra of the Bahujan Samaj Party; Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India (Marxist); D Raja of the Communist Party of India; Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party Convenor Arvind Kejriwal; Derek O'Brien of the All India Trinamool Congress; Ramgopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party; Kanimozhi of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam; Manoj Jha of the Rashtriya Janata Dal; Majeed Memon of the Nationalist Congress Party; and Devinder Rana of the National Conference.

The leaders will also move the Election Commission to press for their demand of tallying the paper trail of votes with the electronic voting machine figures.

BJP To Meets Allies

Top leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance will meet over dinner tonight with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, people familiar with the development said.

Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) President Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray and Lok Janshakti Party Head Ram Vilas Paswan are likely to attend the meeting. A meeting of key BJP leaders, including union ministers, is also scheduled to be held in the party headquarters before the dinner meeting with allies.