Jayant Chaudhary’s RLD is the last member of the NDA. (Photo credit: ‘X’)
New Delhi: While the Election Commission of India has still not announced the official dates for the 2024 general elections, political parties in the country have started campaigning. Elections for the 18th Lok Sabha will reportedly be held in April and May. The contest would be a fight between the BJP-led NDA and the newly formed INDIA alliance.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP secured a whopping 303 seats, far more than the 272 required to form a majority government. Along with NDA allies, the tally rose to 353 out of a total of 543 seats.
The Congress party fared poorly in both the 2014 and 2019 general elections. Due to consecutive poor results, the party decided to form the INDIA alliance.
The alliance is a coalition of 26 parties that includes major state-level parties such as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and many second.
New entrants to NDA
However, ever since its inception, the INDIA alliance has been plagued by problems. A major blow came recently when one of the main members of the Janata Dal United (JDU) alliance led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar left the alliance and joined the NDA.
This is a huge blow to both the alliance and its image. It is sending a message of its weakness in bringing partners together, which may escalate and see others also quit and join the NDA.
This seems to be happening slowly now and as the general elections approach, more and more people are joining the rising tide of the NDA.
Talks of BJP and RLD reaching the final stage of agreement are also now almost certain. According to reports, the BJP has offered Bijnor and Baghpat Lok Sabha seats to Jayant Chaudhary-led UP RLD.
To add to the hype, the RLD has also reportedly accepted the government’s invitation to visit Ayodhya on February 11. While the Samajwadi Party says the development is not confirmed, the case seems to be on the NDA’s side.
Not only the RLD is expected to join the NDA, Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is also said to be close to signing an agreement with the NDA.
Besides, TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday evening and since then talks of an alliance between the two have also heated up. Meanwhile, three YSRCP MPs have quit their party and are planning to join the TDP.
If recent reports are to be believed, another possible NDA member appears to be BJP’s old friend, the Shiromani Akali Dal of Punjab.
All in all, the NDA with its penchant for making alliances, quickly and efficiently, has started preparations for the 2024 general elections in the right spirit. While in the last election campaign the party won a majority without the need for allies, the party has enough political acumen to realize that every friend it can get is important.
For the INDIA alliance, however, the numbers seem to be counting down every day and their chances to strongly oppose the ruling deal.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone. The opinions and facts in this article do not represent the views of News9.)