Inside Nitish, Naidu's WISHLIST: Why are TDP, JDU still with NDA?

Reports suggest that INDIA bloc leaders are reaching out to Naidu, attempting to persuade him to switch sides.

Top Indian News Desk
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Courtesy: ANI

New Delhi: In the aftermath of the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the political landscape of India is witnessing a dramatic shift. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), having failed to secure an absolute majority, finds itself dependent on the support of the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) and Janata Dal (United) [JD(U)] to form the government. Both TDP, led by Chandrababu Naidu, and JD(U), headed by Nitish Kumar, are poised to play the crucial role of kingmakers.

NDA's coalition government on the horizon

With coalition talks intensifying, the BJP is actively courting TDP and JD(U) to secure their backing. However, the opposition INDIA bloc, which has secured 234 seats, is also vying for their allegiance. Reports suggest that INDIA bloc leaders are reaching out to Naidu, attempting to persuade him to switch sides. Similarly, efforts are underway to lure Nitish Kumar away from the NDA. Given his reputation for unpredictability, it remains uncertain which direction he will lean, especially as he seeks substantial concessions.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP)

TDP has emerged with 16 seats in the current Lok Sabha elections, and their alliance with NDA is pivotal for forming the government. Having joined forces with the BJP just months before the elections, TDP leveraged Prime Minister Narendra Modi's image in their campaign. Remaining with NDA could provide the stability and consistency TDP seeks, as the BJP, despite its recent slip, remains a formidable force.

However, TDP's support will not come without demands. During negotiations, TDP is expected to push for special status for Andhra Pradesh and key ministerial positions. Despite its alliance with NDA, TDP's history of switching allegiances, such as its 2019 alignment with UPA, suggests that promises from the INDIA bloc could also sway their decision. Nonetheless, with partners like Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress commanding more seats, TDP must carefully evaluate its position.

Janata Dal (United)

Known for his political maneuvering, Nitish Kumar is in a strategic position despite JD(U) losing four seats, securing a total of 12. Nitish will leverage his position to negotiate a favorable deal with NDA, reportedly seeking three Cabinet seats and special status for Bihar. JD(U) leader KC Tyagi emphasized their expectations for the new government, including a nationwide caste census.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the INDIA bloc has offered Nitish the Deputy Prime Minister's post, fueling speculation about his next move. JD(U)’s cryptic social media post thanking Nitish and referencing the Congress manifesto has further stirred the political pot. Amidst these speculations, a senior JD(U) leader indicated a likely continuation with NDA. However, Nitish's reputation for abrupt shifts leaves both NDA and INDIA bloc cautious but hopeful.

The Kingmakers!

As TDP and JD(U) stand on the brink of crucial decisions, their choices will significantly impact the formation of the next government. Both parties face a complex decision-making process, weighing the benefits and drawbacks of aligning with NDA or INDIA. The political chessboard is set, and the next few days will reveal the alliances that will shape India’s political future.