Updated June 5th, 2024 at 17:10 IST

Naidu, Nitish To Bargain Hard | Coalition Era Returns To India, Coalition Dharma To Follow Soon

Both Janata Dal United and Telugu Desam Party has won 12 and 16 seats in this Lok Sabha elections, emerging as the kingmakers in formation of NDA government.

Reported by: Apoorva Shukla
Narendra Modi with Atal Vihari Vajpayee and LK Advani during an election campaign | Image: PTI/File
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New Delhi: While the National Democractic Alliance is comfortably placed above the majority mark needed to form government at the Centre, the BJP has fallen short of the magic number of 272, thus bringing back the coalition era in Indian politics. Further, the bargaining chip is in the hands of two veteran politicians of the coalition era - JDU chief Nitish Kumar and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu. 

Both Janata Dal United and Telugu Desam Party has won 12 and 16 seats in this Lok Sabha elections, emerging as the kingmakers in formation of BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. For the unversed, both Naidu and Nitish Kumar have played key role in the Atal Vihari government in 90s.

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Special Status, Railway Ministry: Hard Bargaining Expected by JDU

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar flew to the national capital ahead of the NDA meet along with RJD leader and his arch rival Tejashwi Yadav in the same flight, raising eyebrows. However, as he landed in Delhi, he said, "sarkat to banegi hi.." in Hindi.

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Nitish Kumar's relationship with BJP goes back to the mid-1990s. The alliance with BJP, which ruled the country from 1998 to 2004, also provided much-needed exposure to Kumar who held key portfolios like agriculture, railways and surface transport in the cabinet of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In the last two decade, Nitish Kumar's flip-flop has, however, many left speculating his next move even if agrees to support Modi 3.0

Sources said that Kumar's JDU may demand portfolios like Railway, Rural development and Agriculture. Similar demands may come up from Chirag Paswan's party as well. The main focus remains on 'special status' to Bihar, as both the leaders have been an advocate of the same.

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Chandrababu Naidu May Come Up With a List of Demands

Political pundits claimed that N Chandrababu Naidu may come up with the list of demands, with the most important being ensuring representation to the Telugu Desam Party at the national level. Sources exclusive to Republic said that Naidu may insist on special status for Andhra Pradesh, a demand over which he walked out of the NDA in 2018. Special Category Status have been a common demand in political landscape of both Bihar and Andhra Pradesh as it ensures more central funds, higher aids, tax concessions among others. The additional funds may come handy to Naidu as he aims to develop Amravati as the capital city. Further, Naidu is also expected to seek the the Lok Sabha speaker's post along with 5 to 6 portfolios in the Modi government. 

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Naidu has already clarified that he will be supporting BJP to form the next government in the country. Upon being asked about his Delhi visit during a press conference on Wednesday, Naidu said, "We are in NDA. I am going for an NDA meeting. In the course of time, if there is anything we will report to you."

BJP to Follow ‘Coalition Dharma’? 

India has seen coalition politics for over three decades of its independent history. Narendra Modi, in 2014, ended India's stint with coalition politics as he walked into the Parliament with a brute majority. However, after 10 years coalition politics is back to India. Now with the current mandate, Narendra Modi might need Vajpayee's touch to manage the coalition partners like Naidu and Nitish Kumar who are known for having tumultuous ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Former Indian Prime Minister and veteran BJP leader, whose footsteps are being followed by Narendra Modi, Atal Vihari Vajpayee had coined the term 'Coalition Dharma'. He believed that if one leader wishes to run a coalition government when short of majority, coalition dharma needs to be followed i.e. many demands of the alliance partners have to be accepted.
 

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Published June 5th, 2024 at 16:46 IST