Sena ridiculed for attending NDA meet

This is the first time in the past three years of the Modi government that a meeting was called of wider NDA partners at the central or the state level.

The Prime Minister has already sounded the bugle for the party's preparations for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections soon after the assembly polls. Representatives of the BJP allies, including People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti and Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrababu Naidu, will also be there, reported NDTV. As each vote is important, BJP leaders like Manohar Parrikar and Adityanath Yogi, who have taken over as chief ministers of Goa and Uttar Pradesh respectively but have not yet been elected to their state assemblies, have been told not to quit their parliamentary seats.

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Addressing the media, Financial Minister Arun Jaitley said the NDA meeting endorsed the government's policies, especially its "pro-poor policy".

The BJP sources said the meeting will be a show of strength of the ruling alliance as well as an exercise in taking stock of the national political scene.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to be looking beyond 2019 general elections as he urged NDA allies to work towards realisation of New India by 2022, which will make the countrymen proud.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who has often targeted the Modi government and the BJP, had a separate meeting with the Prime Minister, and sought a loan waiver for farmers in Maharashtra. "The results established Modi as most popular prime minister of the country after independence", the statement said. Uddhav's son and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya accompanied him for the meeting. "Sustainability will come with stable government", he said.

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He asked party MPs to claim credit for the government's achievements, saying they will be its face when it fights the next elections. This will be significant for both BJP and Shiv Sena, as the parties now share a strained relationship in Maharashtra. "India is the only country that is going to grow in double digits and it is only possible with Modi's leadership", Naidu added. Mumbai Mirror reported that Thackeray leveled several charges against Narendra Modi and his government during several public addresses during poll campaigns.

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