New Delhi: Faced with an unrelenting Congress attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today got the backing of all the NDA constituents but they demanded better coordination in the alliance and sought the appointment of a convenor. In the first meeting with NDA constituent leaders after coming to power, BJP also saw the alliance leaders voicing the need for a better communication on contentious issues like land bill.
Ahead of the monsoon session beginning tomorrow, Modi held back-to-back meetings with BJP's parliamentary executive committee and later NDA constituents where the strategy to aggressively counter the Opposition campaign against top party leaders, including Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan, was given final touches.
Leader of Shiv Sena in the Rajya Sabha Sanjay Raut told PTI that all the allies fully backed Modi and the government on all issues and felt that there was no reason for them to be on the backfoot.
The demand for having an NDA convenor on the lines of the first NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was made by a leader of the Sena, the largest BJP ally.
He said this arrangement had led to better coordination in the past, sources said. Socialist leader George Fernandes was the convenor during the Vajpayee rule. Modi also agreed to the need of having more such meetings of NDA constituents for better coordination. The Modi government has so far held meetings of MPs of NDA. This was the first meeting Parliamentary party leaders of the ruling dispensation.
The allies also wanted that their party presidents should be called for coordination meeting of the NDA and not only the parliamentary party leaders.
However, the BJP partners put up a united face on the current challenges being faced by the government on Vyapam scam and Lalit Modi controversy and offered their full support.
RLSP leader Shivraj Singh said his party fully backed the Modi government in its confrontation with the Congress-led Opposition. “We are fully with the government,” he said. SAD leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said all allies decided to move together to counter the opposition. “All said there should be more such meetings to evolve joint strategy,” he said.
A senior BJP leader said they decided to take on Congress with facts and figures if the Opposition parties tried to disrupt Parliament.
“We are ready to discuss all issues. But if Congress attacks us, then we will aggressively counter the challenge,” he said.
The meeting also saw a Cabinet minister batting for releasing caste census data with thorough classification, saying this will be advantageous for NDA in the Bihar polls as most backward castes are inclined to voting for the alliance.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley briefed the allies on the issue and explained the reasons for not releasing the caste data.
The meeting also saw the allies telling the government that a better coordination could have helped the ruling alliance to counter the Opposition attack on the land bill more effectively.
“Whenever the government brings out some measure, it would be better if the allies are taken into confidence in advance so that they can speak in one voice and reach out to people,” a leader said after the meeting.