The meeting is being attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
The Union Council of Ministers is meeting today at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s headquarters in New Delhi. The meeting is also being attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. The BJP described the meeting as an occasion to thank ministers for “their service to the nation” ahead of the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha election on May 23, following which a new government will assume charge. The meeting comes ahead of a dinner party being hosted by Mr Shah in Delhi, which is also expected to double up as a strategy session – even though Sunday’s exit polls predicted a comfortable victory for the BJP. Twelve of 14 exit polls predicted that the NDA will get full majority with seats ranging from 282 to 365. An aggregate of exit polls predicted the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will win 302 seats and the Congress and its allies 122. A party or an alliance needs 271 seats to form the government, as the elections were held on 542 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats.
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Here are the live updates from the meeting of Union Council of Ministers at the BJP office in Delhi:
Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, J P Nadda and Prakash Javadekar are among the key leaders from the BJP at the meeting. Some ministers from BJP allies, including Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party, Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Akali Dal and Anupriya Patel of the Apna Dal, are also present in the meeting.
BJP President Amit Shah is meeting the Union Council of Ministers today to thank them. He is touching base with the leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), with a special dinner this evening. The dinner at Delhi’s “The Ashok Hotel” is also expected to double up as a strategy session. The dinner is likely to be attended by all the NDA leaders, many of whom have started arriving at the national capital.
Two of the exit polls have also predicted that the NDA might fall a few seats short of majority:
In 2014, the BJP had crossed the majority mark on its own – a first for a political party in three decades. But this time, many assumed that the party might need the help of allies to cross the majority mark after Amit Shah made it a point to close ranks with even fractious allies like Shiv Sena and Nitish Kumar before the elections.