NEW DELHI: Ahead of the likely stormy Budget session, the BJP held a meeting its NDA allies to chalk out a joint strategy to present government’s pro-poor policies so that they can take on the opposition both within and outside the house.
The meeting was also aimed at ensuring better co-ordination with alliance partners as some of them have been raising issues of not being consulted on several issues by the ruling party.
In the meeting held at the residence of parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, leaders of various NDA allies like Akali Dal, TDP participated. BJP chief Amit Shah was also present at the meeting to arrive at better co-ordination with the alliance partners. Senior ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu, Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal along with their party MPs also attended the meeting.
As there has been a feeling among alliance partners over coordination, Shah will also hold one-to-one meeting with them. BJP chief will meet Akali Dal and TDP leaders on Tuesday.
As Punjab BJP leaders had already recommended to Shah that they break off alliance with Akalis as the latter were hugely unpopular and it would harm the party in next year’s assembly elections, Shah could discuss the matter with Badal so that step be taken to mollify the state unit.
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 Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
After the meeting, Naidu said, “It was decided that we should highlight pro-poor, pro-farmer initiatives taken up by government from time to time. Discussions were also held on issues that are likely to come up in coming session of Parliament.”
“Discussed on need to have better coordination in Parliament and to evolve common strategy on larger issues likely to be discussed in House,” minister added.
As the government will make a renewed push for the GST bill in Rajya Sabha, it wants the support of all its allies. The GST bill was also discussed before the NDA leaders. 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 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.