In his bid to rally around the NDA flock ahead of Budget presentation, PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged all allies to speak in one voice outside and inside Parliament.
Modi's remarks at a meeting of alliance partners are significant as Shiv Sena has been at odds with the government over several issues and stayed away from an all-party meeting convened by the government on Monday. Relations have deteriorated after Sena and BJP failed to reach an agreement to contest the Mumbai civic polls together, leading to some bitter exchanges.
"Everyone should speak in one voice and NDA must remain one," Modi told the meeting. He said the opposition had no issue against the government and an unified NDA would help convey a positive message. The stress on unity is also significant considering the opposition's success in ensuring a washout of the winter session where Congress and a vocal Trinamool stalled proceedings. Trinamool is seen as likely to persist with its tactics.
Though the PM did not refer to the forthcoming state elections, it seemed obvious that he felt the Budget should not be marred by signs of disunity in the public domain. He said the President's address to the joint session of Parliament listed achievements of the government and all members should build on that. Defending the decision to advance presentation of the Budget, Modi said, "advancing the Budget date will facilitate execution of more development work".
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