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India should rise to challenges posed by new world order: PM Modi

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Shadow of bitter falling-out between JD(U) and LJP during Bihar polls looms large over NDA meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituents that India needed to rise to the challenges posed by the new world order shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the shadow of the bitter falling-out between two of them — the Janata Dal (U) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) — during the Bihar Assembly elections loomed large over the grouping at its first meeting this parliamentary session.

The JD(U), with whom the BJP is in alliance in Bihar, objected to the LJP leader Chirag Paswan being invited for the customary meet of the NDA that takes place at the beginning of Parliament session. “We don’t consider Chirag Paswan’s LJP a member of the NDA,” said JD(U) leader K.C. Tyagi when news of the invite reached him.

Paswan ‘unable to attend meet

Before the matter could escalate, Mr. Paswan, early on Saturday, said he was unable to attend the meeting due to ill-health.

BJP sources confirmed that he had been invited, but had also been made aware of the difficulties his presence could create.

Mr. Paswan has earned the ire of the JD(U) by fighting the Assembly elections independent of the NDA, sharpening his attack on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but being soft with the BJP, terming himself the “Hanuman” to Prime Minister Modi’s “Ram”. While the LJP won only one Assembly seat, JD(U) leaders feel he managed to damage their party’s prospects in at least 10-12 seats.

“After the pandemic, a new world order is about to take shape, and India has a big role to play in the emerging new world order. This decade is a very important one, just like the decade after the second world war. Unlike earlier, we are not going to be mute spectators. We will rise to the occasion based on our traditions and ideals of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam [the world is one family],” Mr. Modi said at the meeting.

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