BJP works out strategy to tap new allies in case of LS shortfall
By  IANS | Updated:  May 10, 2019, 09:07 AM
Apparently sensing that it may miss the majority mark in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, the BJP is understood to have already devised a plan to tap new allies and independents to enable it to meet the potential shortfall.
As part of the strategy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is understood to have given the task of tapping new allies and independents to three senior leaders, sources aware of the developments say.
Among the parties that the BJP is eyeing to bridge the gap, in case it falls short of a legislative majority, are the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), the sources said.
Some smaller regional parties are also likely to be approached for support, depending on the requirement, the sources said.
The three BJP leaders will also get in touch with independents who win.
This comes amid a sense within the BJP leadership that the existing National Democratic Alliance (NDA) may fall short of 272 seats, the majority mark required to form the government.
BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav was the first leader to admit publicly, albeit in a veiled manner, that the BJP-led NDA could fall short of a majority in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
"If we get 271 seats on our own, we will be very happy," Madhav said in an interview to Bloomberg last week.
An indication that the BJP was cozying up to BJD was clear earlier this week when Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised its leader and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the context of preparations for cyclone ‘Fani'.
"Naveen Babu has done great work," Modi said in presence of Patnaik after they jointly conducted an aerial survey of the cyclone-affected areas.
While praising Patnaik's leadership, the Prime Minister said it was not a small thing to shift nearly 12 lakh people before the cyclone hit the state.
The praise was in sharp contrast to Modi's attack on Patnaik and his government during the simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assembly which concluded last month.
In rallies that the Prime Minister addressed in the state, he targeted the BJD government and said that Patnaik should know that his exit was imminent.
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