BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi may be claiming to achieve a majority in the elections, but his party has its eyes set on allies, before and after the results.
A day after releasing its manifesto, the party on Tuesday declared that it has 28 parties in the NDA and is contesting in all the 543 seats. The BJP has cobbled up alliances with smaller parties, who may not have presence in the Lok Sabha, hoping to add a few more seats to its final tally.
The BJP on its own has declared candidates for nearly 415 seats and is likely to declare 13 more in Andhra Pradesh. The allies will contest in the remaining seats.
Party incharge on election management Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: “Regional concerns of the BJP are clear from the south to the northeast and given its progressive aspect, a large number of important political parties have decided to become part of the NDA.”
The 28 NDA constituents include trusted old allies such as the SAD and Shiv Sena and new entrants such as the TDP, RPI, LJP,Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, MDMK, PMK, DMDK, Rashtriya Samaj Paksh(Maharashtra), Swabhiman Paksh(Maharashtra), KMDK, IJK, All-India N R Congress, Jan Sena Party, Haryana Janhit Congress, Apna Dal, National People’s Party (Meghalaya), Naga People’s Front, United Democratic Front(Mizoram), Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha, Maharashtra Gomantak Party, New Justice Party, Northeast Regional Political Front and the National People’s Party.
The toughest test for the party may come after the elections if it fails to reach the 272 mark, as it will have to seek the support of regional parties like the AIADMK, TMC and the BJD to form a government.
Change in Manifesto
Making an amendment to its election manifesto, the BJP said it would “sympathetically examine and appropriately consider” the long-pending demands of the Gorkhas, Adivasis and other people of Darjeeling district and the Dooars region; of the Kamtapuri, Rajbongshi and other people of North Bengal (including recognition of their language).