5:13 pm - Wednesday April 19, 2265

LK Advani to propose Narendra Modi for PM at BJP meeting today

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New Delhi: Narendra Modi will this afternoon meet President Pranab Mukherjee to stake claim to form government, after a series of ceremonial elections that will officially make him the head of the BJP and the national alliance it leads, the NDA, in parliament.

At 11 am, the BJP’s 282 newly-elected MPs will meet in the Central Hall of Parliament and elect Mr Modi as the leader of the parliamentary party. At the meeting, Mr Advani will propose Mr Modi’s name for Prime Minister’s post. At 12, the BJP’s 18 allies will choose Mr Modi as the leader of the alliance. The BJP has won 336 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha with its allies.

At 2.20 in the afternoon, he is scheduled to lead the NDA to the President to stake claim. He is expected to be sworn in as the country’s 15th Prime Minister between Sunday next, May 25, and Tuesday, May 27, sources have said.

A date is yet to be formally announced for the ceremony.

Mr Modi has been camped in Delhi since Sunday holding multiple meetings to finalise his cabinet. He will return to Gujarat later today for a public meeting in his assembly constituency Maninagar, to inform his voters that he will now resign and moving to Delhi.

On Wednesday, Mr Modi will be felicitated by the BJP’s legislators in the Gujarat assembly, which is meeting for a special session. Mr Modi will then pave way for the party MLAs to elect their next chief minister by resigning from the Maninagar seat.

The BJP has sent party observers to supervise the change of guard – sources say Anandi Ben is the top contender to take over the chief minister’s post which Mr Modi has held since October 2001.

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