New Delhi, April 10: The Bharatiya Janata Party will hold a dinner meeting on Monday with its allies in a bid to secure their support ahead of presidential elections in July this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host the dinner for about 50 leaders from the BJP and 31 regional parties that make up the National Democratic Alliance.
“This event will showcase NDA’s expanse and its increasing clout in Indian politics,” a BJP functionary said, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.
Ahead of the third anniversary of the Modi government, the meeting is also seen as an attempt to put up an united face. Even though recent poll victories has given an edge to the BJP but it still depends on its allies to get its nominee elected to the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The dinner also aims to strengthen the NDA ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections as Opposition parties led by Congress are trying to stitch a grand alliance.
Except for defeat in Delhi, Bihar and Punjab polls, the BJP had a dream run after the 2014 general elections. The BJP and its allies are in power in 17 states, including politically crucial state Uttar Pradesh.
According to a report in the Telegraph, apart from the constituents of the Central government, leaders of little-known regional parties have been invited for the meeting. They include parties like the India Jananayaka Katchi (IJK) and the India Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, both BJP allies from Tamil Nadu, and Kerala Congress leader PC Thomas. Bimal Gurung of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is also scheduled to attend.
Leaders of the Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party are also scheduled to attend the meeting.
The Shiv Sena had last week threatened to boycott the April 10 meeting in view of flying ban on its MP Ravindra Gaikwad. But with the ban being revoked, Sena is likely to attend the meeting. The party had earlier backed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat for the top post but the latter rejected his nomination.