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After Mamata, Nitish Says BJP may go for Early Lok Sabha Polls

Bihar CM and INDIA ally Nitish Kumar said the Centre could hold elections six to seven months before the scheduled time.

Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: One after another top leader of the Opposition coalition, Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), has publicly said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government may go for early Lok Sabha elections in place of scheduled polls in 2024. Ahead of third meeting of the Opposition coalition in Mumbai later this week, the political leaders have expressed the need for strong opposition unity soon.

After Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, it was Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the de facto chief of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), who said on Tuesday that Lok Sabha elections may take place early.

“The BJP-led central government might decide to hold elections before its scheduled time. The elections can happen anytime in the country. Taking this into consideration, the opposition must unite now,” Kumar said.

Kumar said he had stated a few months earlier as well that the Centre could hold elections six to seven months before the scheduled time.

The Bihar CM further defended the Mahagathbandhan government’s decision to conduct a caste-based survey in Bihar. Reacting to Bihar BJP leaders’ allegations, he said it was not a caste census; it was a caste-based survey that would reveal the must-to-know socio-economic ground reality of deprived sections.

Besides, Banerjee said that the BJP might go for Lok Sabha elections in December 2023 instead of April-May 2024. She has reportedly said that the BJP has hired all choppers for campaigning.

Again, Kumar reiterated that he does not want any post in the coalition and has no personal aspirations. “I am working to unite the Opposition, and I will work for it," he said.

On the other hand, RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday claimed that the Opposition alliance will oust Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “This time, we (the Opposition alliance) will win and remove Modi from the chair of PM.”

Hum Modi ke nareti par chadhne ja rahe hai, Modi ka nareti pakar kar usko hatana hai. Isbar uska kahi se bhi wapsi nahi hoga. Yeh tay hai [We will catch Modi by the neck and oust him. This time, he won’t return (to power). That’s for sure (loose translation)],” Lalu said before leaving for Delhi on the way to Mumbai to attend INDIA’s August 31 and September 1 meeting.

Lalu said the BJP-led NDA is also organising a meeting in Mumbai, but such a meeting will not help them and hardly make any difference. 

Both Kumar and Lalu appear confident that the opposition alliance’s main aim is to defeat the BJP.

JD-U is one of the major allies of the ruling Mahagathbandhan that consists of the Rashtriya Janata Dal led by Lalu Prasad Yadav, Congress, and three Left parties—CPI(ML), CPI(M), and CPI. It is considered a potent political force in Bihar compared to the BJP-led NDA, and three small regional parties recently joined it as well.

The top BJP leadership, including PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, are said to be worried about the BJP facing the next election on its own in Bihar. It is one of the states where the saffron party is set to face a significant challenge from the ruling Mahagathbandhan.

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