MP polls: JD(U) fields candidates; 3rd non-Congress party of INDIA bloc to do so | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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MP polls: JD(U) fields candidates; 3rd non-Congress party of INDIA bloc to do so

Oct 25, 2023 08:55 AM IST

JD(U) general secretary Afaque Ahmed Khan, who released the party’s first list for the Madhya Pradesh polls on Tuesday, said they failed to reach a deal

Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) or JD(U), a key constituent of the Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), has released the first list of five candidates for the November 17 Madhya Pradesh polls after its talks for an alliance with the Congress failed.

JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar spearheaded the efforts for the formation of the INDIA bloc. (HT PHOTO)
JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar spearheaded the efforts for the formation of the INDIA bloc. (HT PHOTO)

JD(U) is the third non-Congress party of the INDIA bloc after the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Aam Aadmi Party to announce candidates for the polls. It was expected to contest over a dozen of the 230 seats.

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JD(U) general secretary Afaque Ahmed Khan, who released the party’s first list on Tuesday, said they failed to reach a deal. “The JD(U) would contest around 10-12 seats. The second list would be released soon.”

The JD(U), whose chief Nitish Kumar spearheaded the efforts for the formation of the INDIA bloc after ending his alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2022, contested assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh in 2003, 2008, and 2013 without much success.

The SP has fielded 45 candidates for the Madhya Pradesh elections even as the party chief Akhilesh Yadav last week indicated a willingness to talk with the Congress after hitting out at its leader for betraying him. Yadav earlier last week said the INDIA bloc was only at the national level days after asking the Congress to clarify whether the tie-up was also at the state level.

He said had he known that there would be no INDIA alliance at the state level, SP representatives would not have gone to Congress with a list for seat sharing. Yadav said his party would contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in the 2024 national elections.

The SP has been looking to expand outside Uttar Pradesh to become a national party. It has since its inception in 1992 been a regional party. The SP registered its biggest success outside Uttar Pradesh in Madhya Pradesh in 2003 when it won seven of the 161 seats it contested.

In the 2018 assembly elections, it contested 52 seats and won one seat. The lone lawmaker has since defected to the ruling BJP.

INDIA constituents in September resolved to contest the 2024 elections together “as far as possible” and said seat-sharing arrangements in states will be initiated immediately and concluded at the earliest in a “collaborative spirit of give-and-take”.

Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram will go to the polls between November 7 and 30 while the results will be declared on December 3. This will be the last major electoral exercise ahead of the 2024 elections. The assembly polls are also the first since 26 Opposition parties formed the INDIA bloc in July to take on the BJP in these elections.

The Congress wrested power from the BJP in the Hindi-speaking heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh months before the 2019 general elections. But it managed to win only three of the 65 Lok Sabha seats in the three states five months later as BJP returned to power with a bigger majority at the Centre.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Vijay is chief of bureau, Patna. He has spent 21 years in journalism and covers political beats and public affairs.

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