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Narendra Modi meets LK Advani, discusses government formation with him

Monday, 19 May 2014 - 7:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

PM designate Narendra Modi on Sunday held a series of meetings in connection with his government formation with the most crucial being with senior BJP leader LK Advani at his residence. Speculation is rife about Advani's role in the government with sources saying the party patriarch is open to the idea of being speaker, a post which is independent to that of the prime minister.

The BJP is contemplating the possibility of Advani not continuing as working chairperson of the NDA, a position which would go to the PM. Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee is the NDA chairperson. Modi drove down to Advani's residence and had a 40-minute meeting with the former deputy PM who met BJP leader Ananth Kumar earlier in the day. Murli Manohar Joshi, who vacated Varanasi for Modi, is keen on a cabinet portfolio. Modi will head a party delegation to president Pranab Mukherjee after the BJP parliamentary party elects him as its leader on May 20. He is likely to take oath as PM either on May 23 or May 26.

After returning from Varanasi, Modi spent Saturday night at Gujarat Bhavan in the capital. On Sunday morning, he met party leaders, including Vasundhara Raje, Amit Shah, JP Nadda, Ananth Kumar and BS Yeddyurappa, apart from allies like LJP's Ram Vilas Paswan. BJP general secretary in charge of Bihar Dharmendra Pradhan also met Modi to discuss the party's strategy in the state in the wake of JD-U leader Nitish Kumar's resignation.

The BJP is holding its cards on government formation close to its chest. A party leader said Modi will listen to everyone's views, but won't reveal his decision as yet. Those familiar with his style of functioning say he will not indulge in politics of appeasement. Sources said Arun Jaitley could get an important portfolio like finance while Sushma Swaraj is keen on a portfolio which would ensure her a place in the Cabinet Committee on Security. Jaitley and Shah had a meeting at party president Rajnath Sing's residence in the evening.

Modi is likely to stick to a 20-member cabinet while keeping in mind regional balancing, representation of allies and one-man parties. This could mean that BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan from Tamil Nadu and RPI's Ramdas Athawale may find a place in the government. Though former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu met RSS leaders Suresh Soni and Bhaiyyaji Joshi in Delhi, he clarified that the Sangh will not play a role in the composition and formation of Modi's cabinet. Since Sunday, BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Kalraj Mishra, Sumitra Mahajan, Gopinath Munde, Harsh Vardhan and Rajiv Pratap Rudy visited Keshav Kunj, the RSS headquarters.

RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said in Jaipur that the Sangh may give suggestions, if needed. "The RSS will not interfere in the government's functioning and politics," he said. The BJP is holding its cards on government formation close to its chest. A party leader said Modi will listen to everyone's views, but won't reveal his decision as yet. Those familiar with his style of functioning say he will not indulge in politics of appeasement.

Sources said Arun Jaitley could get an important portfolio like finance while Sushma Swaraj is keen on a portfolio which would ensure her a place in the Cabinet Committee on Security. Jaitley and Shah had a meeting at party president Rajnath Sing's residence in the evening. Modi is likely to stick to a 20-member cabinet while keeping in mind regional balancing, representation of allies and one-man parties. This could mean that BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan from Tamil Nadu and RPI’s Ramdas Athawale may find a place in the government.

Though former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu met RSS leaders Suresh Soni and Bhaiyyaji Joshi in Delhi, he clarified that the Sangh will not play a role in the composition and formation of Modi's cabinet. Since Sunday, BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Kalraj Mishra, Sumitra Mahajan, Gopinath Munde, Harsh Vardhan and Rajiv Pratap Rudy visited Keshav Kunj, the RSS headquarters. RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said in Jaipur that the Sangh may give suggestions, if needed. “The RSS will not interfere in the government's functioning and politics," he said




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