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NDA MPs may meet on Friday to elect Modi as their leader

New Delhi: Newly elected MPs of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance are expected to meet on Friday to elect Narendra Modi as their leader, paving the way for him to take oath as prime minister for a third term.Sources said after Modi’s election as the leader of NDA MPs, senior members of the alliance like TDP’s N Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar will join the prime minister for a meeting with President Droupadi Murmu to present her the list of parliamentarians supporting him.

He may be sworn in over the weekend, possibly Sunday, they added. The NDA has 293 MPs, comfortably above the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

Senior BJP leaders, including Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, held deliberations through the day on Thursday as the party set in motion government formation efforts.

They met at BJP president J P Nadda’s residence in what was seen as part of the party’s exercise to reach out to allies over issues like their share of ministerial berths and pick the probables from within their party for the coalition government.

Preparing to take oath for a third straight term as the head of a coalition government, Modi had on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the ruling alliance’s members who unanimously elected him as its leader.

Leaders of the BJP’s ally Janata Dal (United) also held deliberations with party president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Though the regional party has not said anything officially on the issue, sources said it is looking to get some key ministerial berths to reclaim some of the lost ground in Bihar where it has performed well after being seen to have fallen way behind the BJP and the RJD over the last few years in political strength.

With 12 MPs, the JD(U) is the second biggest BJP ally after the Telugu Desam Party’s 16. The new BJP-led government will depend critically on these two parties for survival.

BJP leaders are in touch with allies over ministerial berths and other issues.

Naidu is keen that the Centre provide Andhra Pradesh financial assistance in building its capital in Amravati. He also wants the new government to take steps to fulfil the Centre’s commitment to the state when Telangana was carved out of it, sources said.

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