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Updated January 28th, 2024 at 17:46 IST

Punjab, West Bengal and Now Bihar: INDI Falls State-by-State

Nitish Kumar is credited for stitching the Opposition parties together in an alliance under the INDI Alliance

Apoorva Shukla
INDI Alliance
Image used for representational purpose | Image:PTI
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Nitish Kumar resigned from the post of Bihar chief minister on Sunday morning, January 28, and is all set to be sworn-in as the CM for the 9th time with BJP’s support. Nitish Kumar stakes claim to form a new government in Bihar with BJP's support. The BJP in a legislature’s meet has announced alliance with Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United with Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Sinha as deputy CMs to Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar has switched sides this time, dumping ruling Mahagathbandhan.The ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government in Bihar consisted of RJD, JD(U), Congress, and three Left parties. Nitish Kumar’s move has rendered Lalu Yadav’s RJD powerless. However, the major impact is expected on the Opposition’s INDI Alliance. 

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How Nitish Kumar brought Opposition together? 

Nitish Kumar is credited for stitching the Opposition parties together in an alliance under the banner of Indian National Developmental Inclusive (INDI) bloc. Then Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had engaged in a marathon of meetings to put the rainbow coalition together. 

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Nitish Kumar is also said to have convinced Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to join the INDI alliance despite TMC’s opposition to the Congress as well as left parties. Even, the first meeting of the INDI alliance was held in Bihar’s capital Patna. 

Nitish claims all not well within INDI 

As Nitish Kumar dumped the Mahagathbandhan, he said that he will be forming new alliances. Nitish Kumar indicated that he was not feeling happy with the way things were in the Mahagathbandhan in the state as well as the INDIA bloc that he helped take shape but which failed to adequately recognise his efforts.

"You all know how I came to this alliance and also how I worked to bring together so many parties. But of late things were not working well. It was not going down well with those in my party as well", said Nitish Kumar.

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TMC, AAP dump INDI Alliance 

Earlier, Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declared that TMC will go solo in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Banerjee had made the announcements citing disagreement with the Congress over seat-sharing issue.

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"I had given them (Congress) a proposal (on seat sharing) but they refused it at the outset. Our party has now decided to go it alone in Bengal," said Mamata Banerjee. The Congress, meanwhile, said no one can imagine the existence of the opposition INDIA bloc without Banerjee.

Further, while the Aam Aadmi Party is indulged with the Congress party under the INDI’s banner, Bhagwant Mann has claimed that AAP will contest on all the Lok Sabha seats in Punjab. 

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Punjab accounts for 13 Lok Sabha seats. Asked if it was clear that the AAP will not have an electoral alliance with the Congress, Bhagwant Mann said, "We are not going with them (Congress)." 

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress won eight seats, Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) and its erstwhile ally BJP two each and the AAP one. Mann and several AAP leaders have made known their opposition to any truck with the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls.

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Things not looking good in UP as well 

With triple shocker to the INDI alliance, the future of the Opposition bloc helmed by the Congress party doesn’t look good in Congress as well. Samajwadi Party chief unilaterally announced 11 seats for the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha 2024. Caught off guard, Congress leaders said that seat-sharing talks with the Samajwadi party are still on. 

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The equations between Samajwadi Party and the Congress has not been well with Akhilesh blaming the Congress of not allying with smaller parties after it lost three states- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. 

Congress says INDI’s future intact 

Reflecting a disconnect from the situation on ground, the Congress party believes that the future of the INDI Alliance is intact. After Nitish Kumar resigned from the CM post, dumping the Mahagathbandhan, Congress’ Jairam Ramesh compared Kumar with chameleons. 

On the alliance, Jairam Ramesh said, “The future of India is at stake in the election. But the future of the INDIA group is not at stake. Future of India as a society, as a country is at stake if the BJP continues and the RSS ideology continues.” 

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Published January 28th, 2024 at 14:05 IST

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