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"Mayawati, C. Naidu, And Nitish Kumar: Analyzing How the INDIA Bloc Could Have Overcome BJP"

The BJP concluded this Lok Sabha election with 240 seats, notably fewer than its desired 370 and a considerable decrease from the 303 seats it secured in 2019. While it still maintains enough seats, aided by its NDA allies’ 53, to form the government for a third term, the outcome could have been different had […]

"Mayawati, C. Naidu, And Nitish Kumar: Analyzing How the INDIA Bloc Could Have Overcome BJP"

The BJP concluded this Lok Sabha election with 240 seats, notably fewer than its desired 370 and a considerable decrease from the 303 seats it secured in 2019. While it still maintains enough seats, aided by its NDA allies’ 53, to form the government for a third term, the outcome could have been different had Mayawati aligned her BSP with the INDIA bloc.

A significant portion of the BJP’s lost seats originated from Uttar Pradesh, a state it has historically dominated since the ‘Modi wave’ of 2014. In 2019, the party clinched 62 seats and nearly 50% of the votes, while its ally, the Apna Dal (Sonelal), contributed two more seats. However, in this election, the BJP secured only 33 seats, with its vote share dropping to 41.3%.

Mayawati Factor In UP Lok Sabha Election

The BSP contested 79 seats and finished with 9.4 per cent of the votes, but won zero seats.

The kicker, though, is that in 16 seats – all won by the BJP or an ally- the ex-Chief Minister’s party, finished with more votes than the winning margin. If she had been part of the opposition – and sources said she was courted – votes may have shifted and the BJP’s score could have fallen, maybe, by all 16.

The 16 contested seats include Akbarpur, Aligarh, Amroha, Bansgaon, Bhadohi, Bijnor, Deoria, Farrukhabad, Fatepur Sikri, Hardoi, Meerut, Mirzapur, Misrikh, Phulpur, Shahjahanpur, and Unnao.

Among these, the BJP secured victory in 14 seats, while the ADS claimed victory in two.

In instances such as Bansgaon, Farrukhabad, and Phulpur, the winning margins were less than 5,000 votes, while the unsuccessful BSP candidates garnered over 64,000, 45,000, and 82 votes, respectively.

For example, in Meerut, the BJP candidate won by a margin of 10,585 votes, while the BSP received 87,025 votes.

In Bhadohi, where a Trinamool candidate supported by the SP was on the ballot, the BJP won by a margin of 44,000 votes, with the BSP candidate receiving over 1.55 lakh votes.

Had these seats been lost by the BJP, it would have been left with 224 seats, and the NDA led by the party, perceived as supporting the incoming government, would have had only 277 seats, just five above the majority mark.

Mayawati + ‘Kingmakers’ + INDIA = BJP Defeat?

It would also have propelled the INDIA bloc to 248 – not enough to claim victory but enough to underline the ‘kingmaker’ role assigned to incoming Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party and the Janata Dal (United) of his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar.

The TDP won 16 seats and the JDU 12. Take those 28 away from the BJP coalition and 265 remains – not enough for Narendra Modi to be sworn in this weekend for a historic third straight term.

The BJP recognizes the significance of Mr. Naidu and Nitish Kumar, as evidenced by Narendra Modi’s special acknowledgment in his victory speech on Tuesday, as well as the initial plans for their presence alongside him during the formal submission of government formation to President Droupadi Murmu.

Originally, a delegation comprising key BJP figures – Mr. Modi, his close aide Amit Shah, and party leader JP Nadda – along with opposition leaders like Mr. Naidu and Nitish Kumar, was scheduled to visit Ms. Murmu at her residence in Delhi following an NDA meeting to assess the election outcome and discuss the way forward.

Although the meeting did not materialize, sources confirmed that the BJP has ensured, to the best of its ability, the support of these two influential figures by obtaining written letters of endorsement. Consequently, it is anticipated that Mr. Modi will be sworn in as Prime Minister over the weekend, marking his third term in office and making him only the second individual, after Jawaharlal Nehru, to hold this position thrice.

What INDIA Bloc Said

On Thursday, the opposition convened in Delhi amidst rumors that they might approach Mr. Naidu and Nitish Kumar to potentially sway 28 seats. While this move, as deliberated, may not suffice for the opposition to form a government themselves, it could significantly weaken the BJP’s position.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge stated that the opposition intends to “take necessary actions at the right moment to fulfill the people’s wish of not being governed by the BJP.”

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BSP chief MayawatiChandrababu NaiduCM Nitish kumarTDGThe Daily Guardian