Bihar Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Result On June 4 To Decide BJP-JDU Alliance's Fate

Bihar Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Result On June 4 To Decide BJP-JDU Alliance's Fate

In the LS poll, BJP is contesting 17 seats against JDU's 16, a climbdown for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's party as in the 2019 election, both parties contested 17 seats each. But for BJP, contesting more seats will not be sufficient unless it gets a better strike rate by winning a majority.

Dheeraj KumarUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2024, 01:43 PM IST
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Patna: The BJP-JDU relationship remains a subject of intense speculation most of the time but it is likely to take a new course after the Lok Sabha election result is announced in less than a week.

In the LS poll, BJP is contesting 17 seats against JDU's 16, a climbdown for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's party as in the 2019 election, both parties contested 17 seats each. But for BJP, contesting more seats will not be sufficient unless it gets a better strike rate by winning a majority.

Challenges

BJP was placed comfortably in the election initially with everything on its side, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity, support of his government's well nurtured “Lavarthi Varg” and women at large and also factors like Ram Mandir and abrogation of Article 370 in its favour. But, the situation changed as the election progressed in the state with local and caste factors assuming centre stage.

So, now it depends largely on how much Modi will be able to ensure victory of NDA candidates, particularly his BJP candidates, when the party is trying hard to form the next government in the state. Bihar assembly election is due next year. It is the only state in Hindi heartland where BJP has not formed a government on its own so far.

Political analyst Pushya Mitra said, “BJP faces a huge challenge as its clout in the state politics will be substantially dented if the INDIA bloc manages to win around 15 seats in the election.”

He said BJP's troubles compounded with the demise of its party leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi. Now, it has not a single leader who can lead the party to the top position in the state.

“BJP never tried hard to become self-dependent in the state as it always took Nitish’s support to win elections,” he added.

So, BJP reinducted Nitish's JDU into the NDA in January this year even when Union Home Minister and BJP's Chanakya Amit Shah reiterated on several occasions that doors of BJP were shut for Nitish forever. Since Nitish still commands support of around 13-14 per cent of votes in the state, his support to BJP is crucial for its electoral victory even when his (Nitish) own personal image has dented due to reasons known to one and all.

The INDIA bloc of Opposition parties also has apparently succeeded in making a dent in Nitish's 'Luv-Kush' vote bank in the election. While Luv represents Kurmi caste, Kush denotes Koeri or Kushwaha caste. The INDIA bloc was reportedly successful in weaning away Kushwaha voters from NDA as the opposition fielded seven Kushwaha candidates in the LS election. On the other hand, BJP has not given ticket to any Kushwaha as the party also erred by renominating its sitting candidates, a majority of them facing anti-incumbency, Mitra added.

Litmus Test Of Deputy CM & State BJP President Samrat Choudhary

Deputy Chief Minister and state BJP president Samrat Choudhary faces a litmus test as the party's central leadership will closely assess how much he was successful in transferring Kushwaha votes to NDA candidates. Choudhary belongs to Kushwaha caste.

Silver Lining

Bihar BJP, which has played second fiddle to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, emerged as a big brother in the 2020 assembly election by winning more seats. BJP tried to impose itself on Nitish by appointing its two low-profile leaders as his deputies but could not outplay Nitish.

The JDU leader snapped ties with BJP in August 2022, removing BJP from power to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha election. But he returned to NDA again after he was given a short shrift by Congress and other constituents of the bloc. This time, BJP grasped the opportunity tightly and appointed its two loudmouthed leaders Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Kumar Sinha as deputy chief ministers.

If BJP returns to power at the Centre for the third term, Bihar will be on the priority list of the party leadership. The BJP-led NDA government at the Centre by making huge investments and also by creating jobs locally can make a huge difference before the assembly election, remarked another political analyst.

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