BJP Falls Short of Majority, Allies Led by Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar Leverage Negotiations

There is speculation that Naidu’s TDP, which secured 16 Lok Sabha seats and achieved a landslide victory in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly polls, is seeking five ministerial positions, including a Minister of State for Finance and the Lok Sabha Speaker’s post. Additionally, the TDP is interested in portfolios such as Roads, Panchayati Raj, Health, and Education.

The JDU, with its 12 MPs in the Lok Sabha, is aiming for two Cabinet positions and one MoS role, according to party sources. The post of Railways Minister is a key target. Furthermore, Nitish Kumar’s party is advocating for a Common Minimum Programme for the new NDA government and the establishment of a coordination committee to ensure its implementation. Historically, during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee administration, the late George Fernandes served as the convener of this committee. JDU sources suggest that Nitish Kumar is well-suited for this role now.

The JDS, which has won two seats, is likely to push for a central ministerial position for its leader and MP HD Kumaraswamy. The party, led by HD Devegowda, has positioned itself as an advocate for farmers and is reportedly eyeing the Agriculture Ministry.

Other NDA allies that the BJP may need to consider include the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena, which has secured seven seats in Maharashtra, and Chirag Paswan’s LJP, which has won five seats. It remains uncertain whether actor-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena, with its two seats, will seek any central role. In previous Narendra Modi administrations, Anupriya Patel, leader of Apna Dal (Sonelal), held ministerial positions. However, her party’s representation has decreased from two seats in 2019 to one, and her future ministerial status is yet to be determined.

The BJP has secured 240 seats, 32 short of the 272 majority mark in the Lok Sabha. Combined with the 28 seats held by TDP and JDU, and support from other allies, the NDA is expected to surpass the required majority.

Conversely, the INDIA Opposition bloc has achieved 232 seats. Top leaders of the bloc convened in Delhi yesterday to strategize their next steps.

Following the meeting, Mr. Kharge addressed the media, said, “The constituents of the INDIA alliance thank the citizen of India for the overwhelming support for our alliance. The mandate is a clear rebuke to the BJP and its politics of hate and corruption. This is a mandate to defend the Constitution of India against issues like price rise, unemployment, and crony capitalism, and to safeguard democracy. The INDIA bloc will persist in its fight against the fascist rule of the BJP led by Modi.”

“We will take necessary actions at the appropriate times to fulfill the people’s desire for an alternative to BJP’s governance. This is our collective decision, and we are committed to honoring the promises we made to the people,” he added.

Shruti Suman

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