NDA to stand united in monsoon session

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Monday decided it will stand united in the upcoming monsoon session of parliament, and will take on the opposition attacks aggressively.

In a meeting at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence, all members of the ruling alliance agreed to support government’s stand on the Lalit Modi controversy and the Vyapam scam, sources said.

“Prime minister has asked NDA to put up a united face in the monsoon session,” said a source.

All NDA members also agreed to take on opposition aggressively if they demand for resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj or other ministers.

The ruling alliance has decided to raise the Goa bribery case involving New Jersey-based construction management firm Louis Berger to secure a contract for a water developmental scheme to counter Congress which is expected to lead the charge.

The prime minister, according to sources, also consulted allies over the land bill, which has been opposed by partners like Lok Janshakti Party, Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal and assured them that their apprehensions on the bill will be addressed.

The allies were also asked not to air their dissent over the bill in public, and the message that NDA is divided should not go out.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena expressed displeasure about the meeting of NDA being held after 14 months.

“Prime minister accepted there is a communication gap in the allies. We have been assured this will not be so in future,” its leader Sanjay Raut told reporters.

He also said that Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu has been given charge to convene the meetings of NDA at regular intervals.

“The PM also said that the government should not be on backfoot in the parliament,” Raut said adding that they discussed the land bill as well as GST bill. “If the opposition is agressive, we will also be in combat mode.”

Sources added that some members also requested for filling of the post of NDA convener, vacant since Sharad Yadav and his Janata Dal-United left the alliance.

The meeting was attended by Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, Shiv Sena leader Anand Rao Adsul, Republican Party of India leader Ramdas Athawle, and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa among allies.

BJP president Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu were also present.

Ahead of the NDA meeting, Modi held a meeting of the BJP parliamentary party executive committee, which was also attended by veteran leader L.K. Advani.

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