As Budget session dawns, Amit Shah reaches out to allies to show united front
BJP chief Amit Shah has held a important meeting with allies for better floor coordination in Parliament and also decided to hold one-to-one meeting with them, some of whom complained against lack of coordination. This move by the BJP chief is seen as an attempt to show a united face of the BJP led government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as it braces itself to face the onslaught from the Congress and other opposition parties on host of issues in the forthcoming Budget session of Parliament starting on February 23.
As part of the strategy, Amit Shah will first meet Akali Dal and TDP leaders and hold similar meetings with the other loyal allies in the coming days. Top NDA leaders, including union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh besides Shah, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and SAD president Sukhbir Badal, attended the 90-minute long meeting held at the residence of Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
Shiv Sena and Akali Dal raised the issue of “lack of coordination” in the ruling coalition and noted that there was better cohesion during the previous NDA government headed by then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Venkaiah Naidu said the NDA leaders of nine parties deliberated over the issues likely to come up in the session and a common strategy. Issues like Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide in the Hyderabad Central Univerity, Malda violence, imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh were also deliberated.
A suggestion was also made to hold meeting of NDA MPs on the line of the BJP parliamentary party so that they could be informed about the government’s “pro-poor, pro-weaker sections, pro-farmer” initiatives and are in a position to counter the opposition attack.
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, said the NDA meeting should be taking up larger issues concerning the nation and ideas to take it forward and not remain confined to party- specific matters which, he added, should be dealt in one on one meetings.
Various BJP allies also raised certain issues concerning them with Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal seeking constitutional status for the backward commission. Seeking to buttress the government’s pro-farmer credentials, Naidu said some leaders also suggested a pension scheme for farmers. It was also decided to “strengthen” the interaction between the Prime minister and chief ministers.