Lok Sabha Election Results 2024: Will Nitish Kumar, Chandrababu Naidu & H Devegowda Now Switch Sides?

Lok Sabha Election Results 2024: Will Nitish Kumar, Chandrababu Naidu & H Devegowda Now Switch Sides?

The BJP is currently leading in 296 seats, while the INDIA alliance is ahead in 228 seats.

Abhishek SinghUpdated: Tuesday, June 04, 2024, 04:58 PM IST
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As early trends reveal, the election outcome is diverging from what major exit polls had predicted. The BJP is currently leading in 296 seats, while the INDIA alliance is ahead in 228 seats. This unexpected turn of events has sparked speculation about the potential realignment of political allegiances among key regional leaders such as Nitish Kumar in Bihar, Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh, and H. D. Deve Gowda in Karnataka.

The contest between the ruling NDA and the opposition INDIA alliance is proving to be closer and more intriguing than many had anticipated. This shift raises questions about whether these influential leaders might reconsider their positions and possibly switch sides to the INDIA alliance if the trends continue to show a tight race.

Bihar: Crucial battleground

In Bihar, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) [JD(U)] is contesting 16 seats as part of the NDA coalition, which also includes the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). According to the latest trends from the Election Commission of India, the JD(U) is leading in 14 seats, while the BJP is ahead in 11. With Bihar holding 40 Lok Sabha constituencies—the fourth highest among all states and union territories—it remains a pivotal state in shaping Indian politics.

Speculation is rife that INDIA bloc leader Sharad Pawar has spoken to Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu. Pawar has conveyed to Kumar that the opposition parties are ready to offer him the Deputy Chief Minister post.

Andhra Pradesh: Potential kingmaker

Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is showing strong performance in Andhra Pradesh as part of the NDA. The early trends indicate that the NDA is surpassing the majority mark, largely due to the TDP's lead in 14 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats. With the TDP contesting 17 seats, its significant support base across the state positions Naidu as a potential kingmaker at the national level.

Karnataka: Unexpected gains for BJP-JD(S) alliance

In Karnataka, the BJP-JD(S) alliance is leading in 19 of the state’s 28 Lok Sabha seats, while the Congress is ahead in 10, defying exit poll predictions of single-digit wins for the BJP-JD(S). The JD(S) is currently leading in two of the three seats it contested, indicating a stronger-than-expected performance.

There is widespread belief that leaders like Nitish Kumar, Chandrababu Naidu, and H. D. Deve Gowda have maintained alliances with the BJP due to pressure from various cases against them. If the INDIA alliance manages to closely contest or even surpass the BJP, the likelihood of these leaders switching allegiance to the opposition increases. This potential shift could dramatically alter the political landscape and the balance of power in the next government.

As the counting progresses and more definitive results emerge, the political strategies of these regional powerhouses will become clearer, potentially leading to significant realignments and coalition formations. 

Meanwhile, overall, as per the latest trends by the Election Commission on 542 Lok Sabha seats, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is crossing the halfway mark with the BJP leading on 238 seats and winning one seat. The NDA is leading on 295 seats as per the trends reported by the Election Commission.

The exit polls predicted that the ruling BJP-led NDA is poised to improve its performance over its 2019 record when it won 352 seats.

Most exit polls have predicted that PM Modi will return to power. If these predictions come true, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will become the first PM after Jawaharlal Nehru to win three successive terms in Lok Sabha polls.

The Lok Sabha elections were conducted in seven phases- on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.

In the 2019 elections, NDA wrested 353 seats, of which the BJP won 303 alone. The Opposition's UPA got only 93 seats of which the Congress got 52.

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