NDA Convenes to Finalize Cabinet; Nitish Kumar and C. Naidu Seek Key Positions

New Delhi : The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) convened its newly elected Members of Parliament at the new Parliament House for the first time since the BJP-led coalition secured victory in the Lok Sabha elections. With the BJP failing to achieve a majority on its own, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by Chandrababu Naidu and the Janata Dal United (JDU) led by Nitish Kumar have emerged as pivotal partners.

Both the TDP and JDU are advocating for significant roles within the new cabinet, which will be led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is set to be sworn in for an unprecedented third term on Sunday. Following today’s meeting, PM Modi is anticipated to present his claim to form a new coalition government to the President, as per sources.

The NDA garnered 293 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha. The BJP, which had enjoyed a comfortable majority in the previous two terms, secured only 240 seats, falling short of the 272 required for an outright majority.

The coalition’s critical support hinges on four key allies:

Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP, with 16 seats
Nitish Kumar’s JDU, with 12 seats
Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena, with 7 seats
Lok Janshakti Party of Chirag Paswan-Ram Vilas, won 5 seats


These regional parties are leveraging their enhanced influence to secure ministerial appointments. Sources suggest the TDP is seeking five cabinet posts, including the parliamentary speaker. The JDU is aiming for significant portfolios such as railways and rural development.

Veteran coalition leaders N Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar have been in strategic discussions with their party members ahead of today’s NDA meeting.

However, the BJP is reportedly disinclined to allocate the four principal ministries under the Cabinet Committee on Security – defense, finance, home affairs, and external affairs – to its allies. Additionally, the BJP prefers to maintain control over portfolios critical to its infrastructure and welfare initiatives, such as road transport and highways.

These negotiations recall the pre-2014 era, prior to PM Modi’s outright BJP majority, when coalition partners frequently negotiated for positions and advantages.

During today’s NDA meeting, PM Modi will be formally elected as the leader of the alliance. He is scheduled to meet President Smt. Droupadi Murmu later on Friday to officially assert his claim to form the new NDA government.

The swearing-in ceremony is slated for Sunday evening, with several South Asian leaders confirmed to attend. Among the confirmed guests are Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe. Invitations have also been sent to Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

Shruti Suman

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