If the numerous exit polls that have predicted a clear majority for the NDA are on the mark, BJP strategists may be spared the trouble of negotiating support to form the next government. But the party may not shut the doors on parties that may want to the join the NDA bandwagon – which already has 27 constituents – in future.
“The BJP-led NDA will get a credible and decisive mandate. We will take India to new heights while trying to achieve economic development of the country,” BJP president Rajnath Singh said here on Monday.
The Asom Gana Parishad in Assam, Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana, Rashtriya Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh and Telangana Rashtra Samithi in Telangana are among the parties being seen as potential allies if the NDA falls short of majority mark of 272 seats.
All these regional parties have in the past been allies of the BJP, which could not strike electoral arrangements with some of them this time. Accommodating these potential allies if the NDA falls short of the magic figure will require the BJP to rework its arrangements with existing partners, some of who are rivals in their respective states.
Like in Haryana, the BJP has an ally in Kuldeep Bishnoi of the Haryana Janhit Congress and roping in the INLD could prove difficult. Similarly, the TRS is a strong opponent of the TDP.
“We have run a big alliance in the past. We believe in making friends. We are not shutting doors on anyone though we may not require their support to form or run the government,” a BJP leader said.
With exit polls by various TV news channels indicating at a Modi wave, the BJP is confident of a revival in Uttar Pradesh while it expects big gains in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The party also hopes to recover in Karnataka, where it was ousted from power last year, and in Bihar, where its alliance with the JD(U) broke just ahead of the elections.