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NDA and INDIA Leaders Converge on Delhi Amidst Coalition Negotiations

New Delhi, June 5, 2024 — With the 2024 Lok Sabha polls denying the BJP a two-thirds majority, both the NDA and the INDIA opposition bloc are gearing up for crucial meetings today to secure the numbers needed to form the government. The BJP-led NDA secured 294 seats in the 543-member Parliament, 22 more than the majority mark of 272, while the INDIA opposition bloc finished with 234 seats, 38 short of a majority.

Two key NDA allies, TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar, hold significant influence over the coalition’s future. Although both leaders contested the general election in alliance with the BJP, INDIA leaders have reached out to them in hopes of swaying them to the opposition bloc. INDIA needs the support of both JD(U) and TDP, along with several unaligned MPs, to secure a majority.

The day after the election results, leaders from both the NDA and INDIA alliances are traveling to Delhi for discussions on the way forward. Interestingly, Nitish Kumar, known for his history of political flip-flops, will be on the same flight as INDIA ally and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. Both Kumar and Yadav, who were former allies, are set to attend separate meetings in Delhi.

Nitish Kumar’s close aide and JD(U) leader KC Tyagi told ANI yesterday that the party will remain with the NDA, dismissing any speculation of a switch to the INDIA bloc. Meanwhile, Chandrababu Naidu congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the NDA’s performance in Andhra Pradesh, stating that the TDP and BJP will work together to rebuild the state. Despite this, it is important to remember that both leaders have been strongly critical of Modi and the BJP in the past. Nitish Kumar, in particular, led discussions for an opposition front against the BJP before his last-minute switch.

Key INDIA leaders traveling to the national capital for the meeting include Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar, and DMK president MK Stalin. Left leaders will also be present at the meeting. For the NDA, leaders flying in include Nitish Kumar, Chandrababu Naidu, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, Hindustani Awam Morcha chief Jitan Ram Manjhi, Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan, LJP leader Chirag Paswan, and JD(S)’s HD Kumaraswamy.

As both alliances strategize their next moves, the political landscape in India remains tense and uncertain, with both sides vying for the crucial support needed to form the next government.

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