Days after chairperson of Congress Parliamentary Party Sonia Gandhi hosted a dinner for leaders of 19 non-NDA parties, all BJP Members of Parliament are now scheduled to meet over dinner on Friday, March 23 here.
According to BJP sources on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the meeting of the Parliamentary Party. The party chief Amit Shah will also grace the meeting, sources said.
“The proposed meeting will take place at BJP’s new headquarters here. All Union Ministers and Members of Parliament of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have been asked to attend the meeting,” sources said.
Convening of such a meeting of BJP Parliamentary Party assumes significance as normally, the party MPs used to meet during the session – either weekly or fortnightly – in morning Hours in the Parliament premises only.
In April 2017, 32 allies of BJP and constituents of NDA had attended Prime Minister Modi’s dinner meet where essentially the NDA leaders had formed broad strategies for Presidential elections.
Among others, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray also had attended the meeting leaving behind his party’s grievances on several issues. However, since then much has happened politically and even as BJP wrested power in states like Left-ruled Tripura and Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, the saffron party’s vote share and seats declined in Gujarat.
Most striking of all, the BJP also lost a few crucial bypolls to Lok Sabha including politically sensitive Goraphpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh, Araria in Bihar and also Ajmer in Rajasthan.
In 2017 – the mood in saffron party camp was upbeat after its resounding success in UP polls and also after it could gain powers in Congress-ruled Manipur and Uttarakhand.
Commenting on the evolving political situations post March-April 2017, the BJP leaders had exuded confidence that the saffron party had established footprints and enhanced base in every state and that the party would be marching ahead with Prime Minister’s ‘mantra’ of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’.
However, lately there are changes in political equations as 16-MP strong TDP has walked out of NDA and BJP’s own tally in Lok Sabha has nosedived to 274 from what was 282 in 2014 May.
Even other parties like Shiv Sena have been showing displeasure at the functioning style of BJP leadership towards the alliance partners and LJP leader and Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has counseled BJP leadership that they must ensure better coordination among NDA partners.
The BJP MPs meet would also come at a time when key regional players like Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool) and K Chandrashelhar Rao (TRS) have made a strong pitch for floating of a front of regional parties.