‘Unconditional support but … ‘: Why spotlight would always be on Nitish as Modi 3.0 takes charge | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: As Modi 3.0 takes oath to form government in the 18th Lok Sabha, the limelight has been stolen by JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and TDP supremo Chandrabau Naidu who have offered unconditional support to BJP.
Even though the government has been formed, the regional parties have floated conditions — some directly or indirectly — sending out a clear signal of things to come.
As both these leaders have been long demanding special category status for their states, there are other key policy issues on which they have a view different from the BJP.
In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar along with TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu emerged as the kingmakers.
Being a part of NDA, JD(U) and BJP won 12 seats each in Bihar, taking the tally to 30.
While their future moves would be keenly under observation, the focus would definitely be on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar who has had a history of ditching alliances. Such has been the frequency with which he has changed sides in the last ten years that Nitish Kumar has earned the dubious title of ‘paltu ram’ of Bihar politics.
Let’s have a look at how the JD(U) supremo and the saffron party have shared a hot and cold relationship over the years:

1999- A strong start to the alliance

Since the inception of Nitish Kumar-led Janta Dal (United) in 1999, the party has always contested parliamentary elections in alliance with the saffron party except in 2014.
In 1999, the BJP-JD(U) together secured 41 of 54 seats with the latter securing 18.

2004- Differences over ideology

With internal differences in the alliance over religious ideology, the alliance witnessed sharp marginalisation by Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) in 2004 general elections.
JD(U)’s then party leader Digvijay Singh had said, “We shall stick to secularism and oppose fundamentalism.”
“If the BJP returns to the old agenda, then we will not be with them. There cannot be any two opinions on this,” he added.
JD(U) had won 6 while BJP could secure only 5 of 40 seats in 2004.

Strong comeback in 2009

The 2009 general elections witnessed a comeback of the BJP-JD(U) alliance with the two winning 32 of 40 seats together. Of this, JD(U) alone secured 20 seats.
2014- ‘External interference’: JD(U) ends 17-year old alliance with BJP
Citing divergence in basic opinions, JD(U) in 2014 ended its 17-year old alliance with BJP, choosing to contest the Lok Sabha elections alone.
“The BJP is going through a new phase. As long as there was no external interference in the Bihar alliance, it ran smoothly. Problems began whenever there was external interference,” Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had said.
The party could manage to win only 2 of 40 seats while BJP won 22 seats.

2019- ‘JD(U), BJP made for each other’

The two parties came together to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections securing 39 of 40 seats.
With Sushil Modi saying that the two parties were “made for each other”, the party contested on equal seats- 17 each. JD(U) won 16 while BJP won all 17 seats.
Historically, the BJP-JD(U) alliance has created ripples in the political landscape with their alliance. But the question persists- will the BJP-JD(U)’s fifth merger add to their political glory.

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