/ Modi to host dinner for allies

The Hindu : May 21, 2019, 10:23 AM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a dinner meeting with National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders, along with BJP president Amit Shah, on Tuesday evening, two days ahead of the results of the Lok Sabha election.

BJP sources confirmed that Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal(U) president Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Lok Janshakti Party head Ram Vilas Paswan are likely to attend the meeting.

A meeting of key BJP leaders, including Union Ministers, is scheduled to be held in the party headquarters prior to the dinner meeting.

The BJP’s decision to host the dinner comes following the exit polls which have been unanimous in projecting another term for Mr. Modi. Preparations for the counting day were on at the party headquarters.

Speculation was rife after reports surfaced that Mr. Shah was in touch with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, but there was no confirmation from either side. “The NDA will come to power on its own, and we are awaiting the results like everybody else,” a senior BJP leader said.

BJD open to tie-ups

Biju Janata Dal leader Amar Patnaik said in Bhubaneswar that his party had kept its options open with regard to post-poll support. “We would probably support some party or some kind of combination, whoever forms the government at the Centre, and agrees to settle some of the unsettled and long-pending issues of Odisha,” he said.