5 Jun 2024

PM Modi Gains Support from Chandrababu Naidu, Nitish Kumar; are opposition leaders also reaching out to them?

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which secured 293 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, surpassing the majority mark of 272, will form the new government on Saturday. Narendra Modi is set to be sworn in as Prime Minister for a historic third consecutive term, sources confirmed on Wednesday.

Modi was unanimously elected as the leader of the alliance Wednesday afternoon, receiving praise for his leadership and the progress achieved under his tenure. NDA partners commended his dedication to nation-building and his vision for a 'Viksit Bharat'. They also highlighted his role in elevating India's global stature.

NDA leaders convened at Modi's residence

Earlier today, NDA leaders convened at Modi's residence to review the election results and discuss government formation. 

The delegation included Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Chandrababu Naidu and Janata Dal United (JDU) leader Nitish Kumar, whose combined 28 seats are crucial for maintaining the BJP's coalition majority. Naidu's TDP won 16 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh, coinciding with a state assembly election where he reclaimed the Chief Minister position. Nitish Kumar's JDU secured 12 seats in Bihar.

Speculation about Opposition reaching out to Naidu, Kumar 

There has been speculation that Naidu and Kumar might be approached by the opposition INDIA bloc, which garnered 232 seats, 40 short of the majority, as they explore forming a government. To prevent this, the BJP has obtained written letters of support from the TDP and JDU leaders.

Acknowledging their importance to the NDA, Modi mentioned Naidu and Kumar during his victory speech at the BJP headquarters in Delhi on Tuesday night. As it became clear that the BJP would not be able to form the government on its own, sources indicated that Naidu and Kumar, experienced in coalition politics, could be courted by the Congress for their own claim to power.

Although neither leader has openly declared their stance, sources have indicated that demands, including special status for their states and preferred ministerial positions, are being negotiated.

The INDIA bloc, defying exit poll predictions, presented a significant challenge to the BJP in this national election, the first since the 'Modi wave' of 2014. The opposition alliance secured 232 seats, falling short of the 272-majority mark.

INDIA leaders hesitant to reach out to Naidu and Nitish

Despite their significant performance, INDIA leaders, including Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, have been hesitant but willing to reach out to Naidu and Kumar. The Congress delivered its best performance since 2009, winning 99 seats, a substantial increase from the 52 seats in 2019 and 44 in 2014.

Addressing a supportive crowd at the BJP's Delhi headquarters on Tuesday night, Modi expressed gratitude to the people of India for their continued faith in the NDA. "I bow to the people for this affection and assure them we will continue the good work done in the last decade to fulfill their aspirations," he said.

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