Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu Emerge as Kingmakers as BJP Struggles to Form Government

Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu Emerge as Kingmakers as BJP Struggles to Form Government

Nitish Kumar and Naidu have a history of leaving and rejoining the NDA

NEW DELHI, 6th May 2024

With the BJP falling short of a majority in the Lok Sabha, key allies Nitish Kumar and N Chandrababu Naidu have emerged as influential players in the formation of the next government. The Janata Dal (United) [JD(U)], led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, secured 12 seats, while N Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) won 16 seats, both crucial for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Strategic Importance of Key Allies

Both Kumar and Naidu have a history of leaving and rejoining the NDA. In 2014, Naidu’s TDP was allotted a cabinet position and a Minister of State (MoS) portfolio when it was part of the coalition. Given the current political scenario, Naidu is expected to negotiate for a more substantial share in the government, leveraging his party’s 16 seats. Additionally, Naidu’s party has also secured a significant victory in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, positioning him to influence both state and central government formations.

Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumar’s Party have won 12 seats in Bihar

Actor-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena, another NDA ally in Andhra Pradesh, is also expected to be rewarded for its role in defeating Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).

Maharashtra Allies and Strategic Discussions

Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena, which won seven seats in Maharashtra, is another critical ally. Shinde, who joined forces with the BJP and led a split in the Shiv Sena, has not yet requested a central cabinet position but may seek to strengthen his alliance position ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections later this year.

Senior NDA leaders are scheduled to meet on Wednesday to review the Lok Sabha election results and plan the government formation strategy. Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu will be part of this meeting, alongside top BJP leaders and other allies. The discussions will include congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his third term and negotiating the composition of the new government, which is anticipated to feature a more significant role for the BJP’s allies.

Dependence on Allies

Nitish Kumar

Although the NDA has surpassed the 272-seat majority mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha, the BJP’s failure to secure an outright majority for the first time since 2014 makes it heavily reliant on its allies. The TDP, JD(U), Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde, and Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) [LJP(RV)], which won five seats, are all expected to play pivotal roles in the upcoming government formation.


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