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Published On: Tue, May 21st, 2019

Before results, BJP hosts ‘thanksgiving’ parties for alliance partners

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BJPjpgNEW DELHI : Prime Minister and BJP President host meetings with Cabinet and throw a dinner party for alliance partners even before the election results.
The ruling BJP was in a celebratory mood on Tuesday with the PM Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah organising thanksgiving parties for the Union Cabinet and NDA allies.

BJP President Amit Shah is meeting the Union Council of Ministers today to thank them. He is touching base with the leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), with a special dinner this evening. The dinner at Delhi’s “The Ashok Hotel” is also expected to double up as a strategy session.
The ruling party condemned the Opposition for raising concerns over EVM movements and alleged tampering, especially in Uttar Pradesh, and asserted that these were the signals of “frustration at their impending loss”.
Meanwhile, the BJP President welcomed the PM and all members of the Council of Ministers at the party headquarters for a “get together” late in the afternoon. The BJP described the meeting as an occasion to thank ministers for “their service to the nation” ahead of the counting of votes.
Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, J P Nadda and Prakash Javadekar are among the key leaders from the BJP at the meeting. Some ministers from BJP allies, including Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party, Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Akali Dal and Anupriya Patel of the Apna Dal, are also present in the meeting.
The meeting came ahead of a dinner party being hosted by Mr Shah in Delhi, which is also expected to double up as a strategy session – even though Sunday’s exit polls predicted a comfortable victory for the BJP.
Twelve of 14 exit polls predicted that the NDA will get full majority with seats ranging from 282 to 365. An aggregate of exit polls predicted the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will win 302 seats and the Congress and its allies 122. A party or an alliance needs 271 seats to form the government, as the elections were held on 542 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats.
At the meeting of Union Council of Ministers today, PM Modi likened his campaign for this Lok Sabha election to a pilgrimage, saying it stood out from other polls as it was being fought by the people and not the party alone.
“I have seen many elections but this one was beyond politics. Public was fighting them. I have campaigned in assembly elections and undertaken political tours for the party in different elections. When I toured during these polls, it seemed that I was on a pilgrimage,” the PM was quoted as saying.
Two of the exit polls have also predicted that the NDA might fall a few seats short of majority: In 2014, the BJP had crossed the majority mark on its own – a first for a political party in three decades. But this time, many assumed that the party might need the help of allies to cross the majority mark after Amit Shah made it a point to close ranks with even fractious allies like Shiv Sena and Nitish Kumar before the elections.(With Agency Inputs ).

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