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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Chandrababu Naidu, Nitish Kumar turn 'kingmakers' in BJP-led NDA

The two key allies who will now be able to have equal footing with the BJP are the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), as well as the Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam party.
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 18:02 IST
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 18:02 IST

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New Delhi: BJP has claimed victory after the National Democratic Alliance crossed the majority mark, with Narendra Modi saying that the people have chosen NDA for a third term. However, the results also point to how BJP's allies are now set to play bigger roles and get more importance in the days to come. Some of the party’s senior faces, like Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, who were having to contend with lesser roles within the organisational set-up, will also see a boost after their respective wins.

The two key allies who will now be able to have equal footing with the BJP are the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), as well as the Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam party.

JD(U) has bagged 12 seats in Bihar while TDP has won 16 seats.

Both the parties have been constituents of the NDA since the Vajpayee era and both the leaders have served as convenor of the NDA at different time periods before Modi brought back the NDA to power in 2014.

In 2008, George Fernandes had to make way for (then) JDU president Sharad Yadav as the convenor of the NDA. But in 2013, after the JD(U) left the NDA, Naidu, who was then the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh had taken over the role.

Both the leaders, while sharing cordial relationships with the current BJP leadership, have also had their run-ins with the saffron party. Before the last 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it was Chandrababu Naidu who invoked the impeachment vote against the Modi-led BJP government.

Nitish Kumar, who had left the NDA after a 17-year dalliance just before Modi was declared the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in 2013, has had several flip flops, moving between RJD and BJP which earned him the ‘Paltu Ram’ moniker.

The BJP will also have to keep smaller players happy, including the Eknath Shinde’s faction of the Shiv Sena which won seven seats in Maharashtra and Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party which bagged 5 seats in Bihar. Jana Sena, another NDA constituent has won 2 seats in Andhra while the Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress party managed only 1 seat.

The stature as well as importance of senior party leaders like Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh is set to rise, even as the RSS is expected to make its presence felt in the affairs of the BJP. The comment of party president JP Nadda that the BJP is “saksham” (independent) of the RSS did not go down well with the RSS cadre. Within the BJP, the leadership question will also be a crucial one – Nadda whose tenure is set to end in June could make way for former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan or former Haryana CM ML Khattar.

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Published 04 June 2024, 18:02 IST

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