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Modi Gets Ball Rolling On Government Formation, Meets Top BJP Leaders

BJP confirms that RSS will have no role in government formation, Nitish Kumar seeks a day more to reconsider resignation after party protests, and other major developments.

| by Scroll Staff

Headlines from today's papers.

Modi calls on Advani, Joshi in Delhi

( May 19, 2014, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) Bharatiya Janata Party's prime minister designate Narendra Modi got the ball rolling on government formation as he held several discussions with top party leaders, including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, on Sunday. According to reports, Joshi is not averse to joining the Modi government. Advani is likely to be offered the role of Lok Sabha Speaker. Modi is scheduled to be inducted into the BJP Parliamentary Party on Tuesday and to take oath as prime minister later in the week. The full list of cabinet ministers is likely to be announced in the first week of June.

RSS have no role in formation of government: BJP
Dismissing speculation, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader M Venkaiah Naidu stated on Sunday that the party's ideological parent body, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, will have no role in the formation of the cabinet. The statement was made after reports emerged of senior BJP leaders visting the RSS headquarters in Delhi. Naidu said that the RSS is a social organisation that is only interested in matters of national significance. He added that the BJP leadership is competent enough to take decisions on government formation on its down. RSS national spokesperson Ram Madhav also dismissed suggestions that the RSS was running the BJP via remote control.

JD(U) decision on new leader stalled
The Janata Dal (United) failed to decide on a new leader on Sunday, a day after Nitish Kumar resigned as chief minister of Bihar following a drubbing in the general elections. A meeting of the JD(U) legislature party ended in a deadlock after party leaders unanimously chose Kumar as their leader. While Kumar was at first adamant that he would not reconsider his resignation, he later sought a day's time to reflect on the matter, even as party leaders continued to protest against his decision.

Congress won't ally with AAP in Delhi, demands fresh elections
The Congress party rejected claims that it would be open to supporting the Aam Aadmi Party again to form the state government in Delhi. After its spectacular show in the Delhi assembly elections in December, the AAP had formed a government with Congress support, but resigned in 49 days. In the Lok Sabha polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party won all seven constituencies of the national capital, while the AAP came second and relegated the Congress to third place. However, the Congress said that it was ready for fresh elections for the Delhi assembly, adding that the AAP has no moral right to talk about government formation again.

Modi assures Jayalalithaa of cooperation from BJP
Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi called Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Sunday, to assure her of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government's cooperation. Modi also congratulated Jayalalithaa on the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham's massive victory in Tamil Nadu in the general elections. The call was in response to a congratulatory letter sent by Jayalalithaa to Modi earlier, and was seen by some as the first series of overtures between the two. Jayalalithaa has never admitted to the possibility of an alliance with the BJP and had even expelled a party leader last week for suggesting this in public.

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