Narendra Modi, all set to be the country's next prime minister, today held multiple discussions with top BJP leaders including L K Advani as plans for government formation gained momentum. Modi drove to Advani's residence for a nearly 40-minute meeting after holding discussions with his key aide Amit Shah, J P Nadda, both BJP general secretaries, former chief minister and Karnataka strongman B S Yeddyurappa and party's Bihar incharge Dharmendra Pradhan at Gujarat Bhavan here.
The meeting with Advani was apparently to signal that the 86-year-old leader is being kept in the loop over key decisions. Party general secretary Ananth Kumar also visited Advani's residence before Modi's arrival. Simultaneously, BJP leaders Venkaiah Naidu, Kalraj Mishra and Harsh Vardhan visited 'Keshav Kunj', the RSS office here at Jhandelwalan, for talks with senior functionaries. "I have come to meet seniors. The RSS never gets into things like Cabinet formation," said Naidu talking to reporters after meeting RSS leaders.
Harsh Vardhan said that the BJP leaders keep visiting the RSS office from time to time and downplayed talk that the visits were linked to Cabinet formation exercise. 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. Amit Shah had spent nearly two hours at Keshav Kunj yesterday. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, former Chief Minister and MP from Jhansi Uma Bharti, Yeddyurappa, Murli Manohar Joshi and Smriti Irani had also visited the RSS headquarters yesterday.
Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who won the lone Parliamentary seat in the state, also met Modi at Gujarat Bhavan. Rio heads the Ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) a pre-poll ally of BJP in this election. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and LJP cheif Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag also met Modi separately.