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Modi Cabinet Resigns, May Stake Claim to Form the Next Government

Modi Cabinet Resigns, May Stake Claim to Form the Next Government

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, June 5: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday submitted the resignation of his council of ministers to the President Droupadi Murmu in the Rashtrapati Bhavan and also handed over a letter of recommendation of his cabinet to dissolve the 17th Lok Sabha.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said Ms Murmu has accepted Mr Modi’s resignation but requested him and his council of ministers to continue in office till the formation of the new government. The term of the current Lok Sabha ends on June 16.

Mr Modi called on the President after chairing a short meeting of his cabinet on Wednesday morning at his residence which recommended the dissolution of the current Lok Sabha. The development comes after the Election Commission of India officially declared the results of all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies early on Wednesday morning completing the process of the elections for constituting the 18th Lok Sabha.

With the BJP failing to secure a clear majority of its own and stopped at 240 falling short by 32 seats to the halfway mark, Mr Modi in his third term will be heading a coalition ministry with the parties stitched together in the pre-election NDA alliance which together has secured 292 seats, 20 seats above the magic figure.

Mr Modi has convened a meeting of the NDA parties which is expected to elect him as the leader of the alliance after which he is expected to stake his claim to form a new government, a historic consecutive third term for him. The opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc which together has secured 232 seats with the Congress alone having secured 99 seats, is also scheduled to meet on Wednesday evening to review the post-poll political situation and explore the possibilities of staking claim to form a government if it can break some parties from the NDA ranks to support the bloc.

Key NDA leaders, including TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu, JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde, and LJP’s Chirag Paswan, were attending the NDA meeting to demonstrate that the alliance partners have remained solidly together to stake the claim for forming the new government.

Although the exact date for the oath-taking ceremony is yet to be announced, there is speculation that it might take place over the weekend if the details of the new government are swiftly finalised. Allies like TDP and JD(U), with greater bargaining capacity, are expected to negotiate for key portfolios. Their support will be vital, given the BJP’s reliance on its allies for a stable administration.

As Prime Minister Modi prepares for a record-equalling straight third term, the composition and character of the new government are expected to reflect a more significant role for BJP’s allies. The NDA, comfortably above the majority mark, will now navigate the intricate process of government formation with a renewed focus on coalition dynamics.

Though Mr Modi in the last two terms also technically headed the NDA coalition governments, he was under no stress as both in 2014 and in 2019 his BJP on its own had been enjoying comfortable majority in the last two Lok Sabhas having bagged 282 seats in the first elections and a handsome 303 seats last time. Mr Modi this time will have to depend on the 28 seats the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) and the Janata Dal (United) have bagged in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar respectively to stay in power.

And amid persistent speculation the two could be poached by the Congress-led INDIA bloc, which was originally initiated by the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to stop the BJP, Mr Modi made special mention of Mr Chandrababu Naidu and Mr Kumar in his thanks-giving address on Tuesday night at the BJP headquarter in Delhi.

Sources have said Mr Naidu and Nitish Kumar – veteran leaders well-versed in the art of coalition politics – could be courted by the Congress in a bid to stake claim itself. Neither has revealed their hand so far, but sources have said a variety of ‘demands’, including special status for their states and a pick of ministerial berths are on the table.

Both the TDP and the JD(U) are said to be eying for the Lok Sabha speaker’s post the first thing besides number of cabinet berths. INDIA leaders, including Congress boss Mallikarjun Kharge, have been coy about reaching out to either Mr Naidu or Nitish Kumar, but the intent is there, sources have said.

The NCP(SP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said there has been no discussion within the INDIA bloc yet on reaching out to the TDP or JD(U) to shore up the numbers of the alliance for government formation. His remarks came ahead of the meeting of INDIA bloc leaders at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence this evening to deliberate on the Lok Sabha poll results and whether to bring on board the Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to cobble up a government.

Asked about reaching out to the TDP or JD(U) to shore up numbers for the INDIA bloc, Mr Pawar said there was no such discussion within the bloc as yet. “We have not spoken about this yet,” he said. He said the alliance leaders were meeting on Wednesday and will take collective decisions. “I have no personal opinion. Whatever we decide, will be a collective decision,” Mr Pawar said.


The Congress and its allies meanwhile have started digging up the old social media posts and remarks of N Chandrababu Naidu who exited the NDA in 2018 before returning to the BJP-led coalition ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. In November 2019, Naidu tweeted, “We want to send this message across loud & clear, all efforts by BJP to attack the Indian democracy will be met with a strong opposition. People must understand that any leader will do better than PM Modi ji. BJP govt has let the people of this country down in all possible ways.” Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary in charge of communications, reposted it and wrote, “Indeed!”

Mr Nitish Kumar’s flip-flop is no secret. He has changes sides four times in last five years. After initiating the process of opposition INDIA bloc, he suddenly left it mid-way and soon afterwards returned to the NDA fold just months before the elections. The JD(U) sources have claimed that the INDIA bloc leaders had “under estimated” Mr Kumar’s potential which hurt him to compel him to leave the opposition alliance. The party has not mentioned of any ideological differences with the INDIA bloc members that could prevent him from re-joining the group if he was not happy in the NDA alliance.



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