Nitish, Tejashwi take same flight to Delhi for NDA, INDIA meets | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Nitish, Tejashwi take same flight to Delhi for NDA, INDIA meets

Jun 05, 2024 12:41 PM IST

Leaders of Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) insisted it was a mere coincidence that the two were on the same one-and-half-hour-long flight

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav took the same flight from Patna to Delhi for the meetings of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) in the Capital on Wednesday.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. (X)
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. (X)

The meetings are scheduled a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA secured a wafer-thin majority in the Lok Sabha polls amid the resurgence of the opposition INDIA bloc. The NDA leaders were expected to discuss Lok Sabha poll results and government formation as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was set to become the first leader since Jawaharlal Nehru to secure a third consecutive term.

The BJP’s inability to get a majority means Modi will depend on the support of allies such as Kumar of the Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP)’s Chandrababu Naidu to achieve the feat.

The NDA is comfortably above the majority mark (272) in the 543-member Lok Sabha. The BJP has fallen short of the halfway mark for the first time since 2014 and is dependent on its allies for government formation. The INDIA bloc won 233 seats despite being written off in the exit polls.

TDP, (16 seats) JD(U) (12 seats), Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena (seven seats), and Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) (five seats) will play a crucial role in the government formation.

Leaders of RJD and Kumar’s JD(U) insisted it was a mere coincidence that Kumar and Yadav were on the same one-and-half-hour-long flight. Yadav, who was Bihar’s deputy chief minister before JD(U) quit the INDIA alliance, sat behind Kumar. Both refused to comment.

“The JD(U) stand has been made clear by party general secretary KC Tyagi. It was in the NDA and will remain in the NDA,” said a JD(U) leader.

JD(U) leader Nikhil Mandal said being Nitish Kumar is not everyone’s cup of tea. “He is a man who cannot be ignored and he takes his call on his own sweet will, not under any pressure or persuasion. Everyone wants him and that is his strength and relevance in Bihar as well as national politics.”

An RJD leader said Yadav’s meeting with Nitish Kumar on board the Delhi flight was a mere coincidence. “The BJP has been unable to get a majority...and the INDIA bloc is also not way behind. Nitish Kumar was the man who started the work on the opposition unity and later left, but he can always come back,” said the RJD leader.

RJD spokesman Manoj Jha said leaders such as Kumar and Naidu have always been against the vendetta politics of the BJP and they could take a call. “The two leaders were always in the INDIA bloc’s scheme of things and their socialist ideology does not gel with the BJP. The discomfort of Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi is also not hidden,” he said.

Political analyst NK Choudhary said anything could happen in politics. “Nitish Kumar has again got the advantage to manoeuvre as he wants. How he will go about it, time will tell. Switching over again will also not be easy for him due to the complexities involved. He is a shrewd politician who knows how to play his cards and when.”

Uddhav Thackeray, a key INDIA constituent, on Tuesday referred to Naidu and said all patriots and people harassed by the BJP would come with their grouping.

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