The Shiv Sena’s absence was felt at the National Democratic Alliance meeting held on Sunday, Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan said. Commenting on the party’s departure from the alliance, Paswan proposed a coordination committee for the NDA to help constituent parties manage the exchange of their views better.

The Sena, which was locked in a power-sharing tussle with the Bharatiya Janata Party for weeks over government formation in Maharashtra, skipped the meeting after breaking off their alliance in Maharashtra, which they had ruled together for the last five years. The two parties failed to agree on how to share power after last month’s Assembly polls.

The BJP, which had emerged as the single-largest party with 105 seats after the Assembly election results were declared, failed to form the government in the state, and stated that it lacked the required numbers. The Shiv Sena with 56 seats, and the Nationalist Congress Party with 54 were also unable to stake claim for government formation. Following this, President’s Rule was imposed in the state.

Following the meeting of all the parties in the NDA on Sunday, Paswan said: “We miss Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena was missing from the meeting.” He claimed that during the meeting his party asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi “to form a coordination committee or appoint a convener in the NDA so that there is a better coordination and exchange of views among the alliance partners”, ANI reported.

Paswan said that all the parties in the alliance would work together in the Winter Session of the Parliament and more such meetings should take place. The LJP chief explained that his party had announced it will contest the elections in Jharkhand alone as it was in alliance with the BJP only in Bihar, NDTV reported.

Modi, who attended the meeting, said that “small differences” should not come in the way of their ties. “Let us work together for the people,” he said, according to News18. “We have been given a massive mandate, let’s respect that. We are like-minded parties despite not having the same ideology. Small differences should not unsettle us.”

Following a meeting with the BJP’s Parliamentary Party, Modi tweeted that the saffron party would “utilise the upcoming Parliamentary session to further our views on various developmental issues and contribute to transforming people’s lives”.

Earlier, in the all-party meeting ahead of the Winter Session, Modi had assured political parties that the Centre would work with them constructively to frame policy solutions and discuss other matters. The Opposition, meanwhile, raised the concern of the detention of National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, who is a member of the Lok Sabha.

Abdullah, along with two other former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, were detained after the Centre stripped the erstwhile state of its special status in August. Farooq Abdullah has been charged under the “public order” section of the Public Safety Act, which allows authorities to detain a person for six months without trial.

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