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The demand for a convenor of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had already been voiced earlier. However, after the BJP’s defeat in two by-elections in Madhya Pradesh, it is likely that alliance partners will step up the heat and demand a full time convenor. It used to be Sharad Yadav. But after Nitish Kumar went into the NDA, Yadav was turfed out. NDA has 16 parties in Parliament. However, NDA also has 32 more parties that do not have any representation in Parliament. In the Lok Sabha, among the NDA partners, the Shiv Sena has the maximum members, 18, after the BJP, followed by Telugu Desam Party, 16. Currently, BJP president Amit Shah carries out the job of reaching out to alliance partners. The post of NDA convener used to be crucial during the Atal Behari Vajpayee era. Samata Party leader George Fernandes remained NDA convener for a long time.
Too many committees in the offing
A three-day plenary session of the AICC is to be held from 16 March that will see a Congress with Rahul characteristics. The plenary will set up committees to oversee elections for 10 of the 20 members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC). Party workers are keenly watching to see who makes it not just to the CWC, but also to the crucial posts of political secretary and party treasurer. Currently, Ahmed Patel and Motilal Vohra hold these posts. And contrary to the speculation, Patel still plays an important role within the Congress, but sources say Rahul is planning to appoint a panel of political secretaries instead of sticking to just one.