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Modi Elected NDA Leader, to be Sworn-in as PM on June 9

Modi Elected NDA Leader, to be Sworn-in as PM on June 9

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, June 7: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Friday elected the leader of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Parliamentary Party paving the way for him to be re-installed in the office for the third consecutive term, a historic event equalising the feat of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

After the NDA meet at the central hall in the old Parliament building, the BJP parliamentary party secretary Prahlad Joshi said Mr Modi would be sworn-in as the prime minister at 6 P.M. on June 9.

Armed with the letter of support of the alliance partners that pushed the NDA passed the majority mark comfortably, Mr Modi along with other NDA leaders would call on the President Droupadi Murmu in the Rashtrapati Bhavan to stake claim for forming the new government.

Soon after the NDA meet where he was unanimously elected the leader, Mr Modi visited the veteran BJP leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi at their respective residences to take their blessings before taking over as the prime minister for the third time. He also called on the former president Ram Nath Kovind and exchanged pleasantries.

Fully conscious that for the first time he will be heading a coalition government and his own BJP has fallen short by 32 seats to secure majority on its own, Mr Modi while addressing the NDA meeting repeatedly harped on the need for unanimity among the coalition partners.

In a lengthy speech that included multiple jabs and jibes at the Congress and the opposition, Mr Modi made a pitch for governance by consensus and coalition politics. “Our alliance reflects the spirit of India and we are dedicated to upholding constitutional values. NDA is the most successful…”

“When I was speaking in this House in 2019 you chose me as the leader. Then I emphasised one thing… trust. Today, when you are giving me this role again, it means the bridge of trust between us is strong. This relationship is built on a strong foundation… and that is its biggest asset.”

The remarks are seen as acknowledgement of his reliance on allies – new territory after enjoying brute majorities in 2014 and 2019. The BJP needs the support of Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar. Mr Naidu’s TDP and the JDU of Nitish Kumar are seen as kingmakers after the TDP and JDU won 28 seats; take those away and the NDA does not have the numbers to form the government.

“The mandate of 2024 is strengthening one thing again and again – the country trusts only NDA. When there is such unbreakable trust, it is natural for expectations to increase. This is good…I said earlier past 10 years were a trailer. It was not an election statement, it was my commitment…”

Mr Modi said he would strive to ensure unanimity in all decisions of his next government and asserted that the NDA was an organic alliance committed to the principle of ‘nation first.’ He also said the NDA government in the next 10 years would focus on good governance, development, quality of life and minimum interference in the lives of common citizens. He said mutual trust was at the core of this alliance and they were committed to principle of ‘sarv pantha sambhava’ (all sects are equal).

“We will ensure India leads world in ‘green era’, I urge everyone to plant a tree in name of their mothers as respect for mother earth. Respect for India and investments into India both are growing in a big way,” Mr Modi said. “Our government believes in competitive and cooperative federalism,” he added,

He ended the address saying, “One life, one mission – ensuring respect for ‘my mother India’ and taking our country to new heights.” “I am fully committed to nation, I’m available 24/7; we all need to work together for the country,” he said.

Picking up his favourite topic of Congress and opposition bashing, Mr Modi said the “INDIA alliance parties have already started saying alliance was only for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, it shows their character and hunger for power.”

““I see 2024 Lok Sabha results as grand victory for NDA but Opposition tried to reject our victory,” Mr Modi said. “They tried to paint 2024 Lok Sabha results as loss for us but people of our country know we never lost,” he said and added, “we were neither defeated nor are we defeated” and claimed, “Our values are such we do not develop frenzy during victory and do not mock the defeated. We do not have perversion of mocking the defeated.” “If we look at it in terms of numbers in the history of coalitions, this is the strongest coalition government,” Mr Modi said, asserting the NDA knows it very well to digest victory.

Mr Modi then taunted his rivals over their poor electoral performance. The Congress, he declared, had yet again failed to cross the 100-seat mark and won fewer seats in three elections than the BJP had in one. “Even after 10 years Congress could not touch the figure of 100 seats. If we combine the 2014, 2019, and 2024 elections… Congress did not even get as many seats as BJP got in this election. I can clearly see people of INDI Alliance (the BJP’s jibe at the INDIA bloc) were sinking slowly earlier… now they are going to sink at a faster pace…” the Prime Minister-designate proclaimed.

The Congress, which led the INDIA opposition bloc in this election, finished with 99 wins from the 328 seats it contested. That was the party’s best result in 15 years; it won 44 in 2014 and 52 in 2019. The last time the party scored in the triple digits was in 2009 when it won 206 seats and propelled former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the United Progressive Alliance to a second term.



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