Hectic parleys on in BJP and RSS over government formation

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New Delhi, May 18: Hectic consultations were on both in BJP and RSS today on government formation as Prime Minister-to be Narendra Modi met party patriarch L K Advani in an apparent bid to placate him.

Modi, who stayed put in Gujarat Bhavan here overnight, drove to Advani’s residence just a little after noon in the first formal meeting between the two after the party’s resounding victory in the elections.

Yesterday, the two met at a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board and greeted each other before the media.

Nothing official was disclosed about today’s meeting but sources say that the role Advani could play in the new dispensation was discussed.

Advani had reservations over Modi being made the Prime Ministerial face but had to come around at the intervention of RSS. There has been speculation that Advani could be offered the post of Lok Sabha Speaker, a Constitutional office that could provide him a role independent of the government.

The RSS appeared to be playing a role behind the scenes in the government formation though for the record, there have been denials by its functionaries.

Gujarat Bhavan was the nerve centre of activities. A number of ministerial hopefuls including Karnataka leaders B S Yeddyurappa and Ananth Kumar called on Modi while party President Rajnath Singh held discussions with top leaders Arun Jaitley, Amit Shah and general secretary Ram Lal, an RSS pointsman in BJP.

BJP leaders M Venkaiah Naidu, Kalraj Mishra, Harsh Vardhan, Gopinath Munde and Rajiv Pratap Rudy met the RSS leaders here.

LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, whose party has won six seats in Bihar, called on Modi along with his wife and son Chirag, who has also been elected. Another ally Neiphiu Rio, who heads Naga People’s Front (NPF) and has won the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state also met Modi.

BJP general secretary in-charge for Bihar Dharmendra Pradhan also met Modi to brief him on the political developments in Bihar in wake of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s resignation.

The meetings came a day after the BJP Parliamentary Board, the highest decision-making body of the party, met here for the first time after the landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections to decide issues related to government formation.

It was decided yesterday that Modi will be formally elected as the leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party at its meeting here on May 20 ahead of taking oath as the Prime Minister.

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