Happy with exit polls, Shah to host dinner for allies

Shalini Ojha

Happy with exit polls, Shah to host dinner for allies

21 May 2019: Happy with exit polls, Shah to host dinner for allies

BJP President Amit Shah is all set to host a dinner for NDA allies on Tuesday. The dinner, which can be seen as a show of strength, was finalized after exit polls gave a comfortable majority to NDA.

To recall, the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections for 545 seats ended on May 19, and on the same day pollsters predicted BJP's return to power.

Guest list: Nitish Kumar, who recently criticized BJP, could attend dinner

Reportedly, JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, and Ram Vilas Paswan of Lok Janshakti Party will attend the dinner.

Among the leaders, Kumar's presence will hog limelight since he recently chastised BJP.

The Chief Minister of Bihar said that BJP should act against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, who called Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse a patriot.

Preparations: In fact, BJP has started preparing for swearing-in ceremony

Though most exit polls gave NDA somewhere between 282 to 365 seats, some are skeptical about the final results.

Despite this, BJP has started planning for the swearing-in ceremony.

"There are various issues that will be discussed at the party forum and there is nothing unusual about meetings held before and after elections," a party functionary told HT.

Fact: Confident of breaching 300-mark: BJP leader

About the preparations for May 23, Jitendra Rawat of BJP's media cell said, "Our entire focus had shifted to elections and leaves of everyone was canceled. We were working 24*7 during the elections and were confident that we will breach the 300-mark."

Message: Shah's dinner has a deep message for allies

While BJP is confident it might cross the majority mark of 272 on its own, Shah's dinner sends a strong message.

The party has joined hands with a record 39 parties this time.

By turning into a host, Shah has reiterated his stand that though BJP will breach the magic number on its own, the government will be formed with allies' support.

Meeting: Before the dinner, PM Modi will meet Union ministers

Notably, before Shah hosts the "unity" dinner, he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Union ministers at the party headquarters.

Apart from this, the saffron party has asked district heads to tell candidates that if they win, they have to reach Delhi by May 24.

Meanwhile, BJP headquarters have lit up and the mood was enthusiastic, confirming joy after exit polls.