Naidu- Nitish Become Key Players, Guaranteeing NDA Government’s Survival After BJP Failed In Elections

Paromita Das

GG News Bureau

New Delhi, 8th June. The political landscape in Bharat finds itself at another critical crossroads as kingmakers Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar pledge their respective parties, Telugu Desam Party and Janata Dal (United), to support a third term for the National Democratic Alliance under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Both leaders have become key players, guaranteeing the NDA government’s survival after the BJP failed to secure an absolute majority. There’s a lot of talk in politics these days around what terms and compromises the two may seek in return for their support.

A strategic manoeuvring that frequently leaves its partners disadvantaged has been the hallmark of the BJP’s past attitude to its NDA colleagues. The “use, weaken, and throw” tactic entails using the regional allies’ electoral strength to gain traction before progressively undermining and out-competing them. This strategy is risky for Naidu and Nitish Kumar because it has been seen in several states and with numerous regional parties. Consider the Assamese Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). At first, the BJP used the AGP as leverage to overthrow the Congress-led administration.

But as the BJP extended its support base and assimilated the AGP’s, over time, the AGP’s influence diminished. Similar to this, in Nagaland, the NPF played a key role in establishing the BJP, but when the BJP-backed Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) rose to prominence, the NPF’s influence began to decline. Longtime allies in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, suffered a major split as the BJP seized its fundamental identity and voter base, weakening the group. Naidu and Nitish Kumar need to proceed cautiously in these seas. Both politicians are no strangers to the consequences of overly close BJP alignment.

Previous experience with the BJP indicates that the party may try to build and broaden its own support base at their expense if and when the need for these allies fades. Furthermore, there is a threat from the BJP’s “divide and rule” policy. The BJP has been successful in further weakening its partners by creating internal discord and rifts within its coalition parties. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra and the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu are two prime examples of how internal conflicts, which are frequently stoked by outside forces, can seriously undermine a party’s cohesiveness and power.

Naidu and Nitish Kumar need to be well cognizant of these historical antecedents as they enter into this political union. As shrewd politicians, they will know that short-term political benefits shouldn’t take precedence over the long-term effects on their parties.

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