The parties that left the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) led National Democratic Front ( NDA) alliance are looking for a “ghar wapasi” before the 2024 general elections. It will be interesting to see if the BJP considers taking them back or not.
Before and after the general elections of 2019, a lot of natural allies walked out of the BJP-led NDA, and a lot of those parties left the NDA even after Narendra Modi came back to power with a thumping majority for the second consecutive term. Some of these parties include- The Telegu Desham ( TDP) led by Chandra Babu Naidu, the Akali Dal in Punjab, Janta Dal United in Bihar, etc. They exited the BJP because they were worried about their aggressive campaign, even in the strongholds of those parties. After exiting the NDA, they joined the United Progressive Alliance ( UPA) or they were on their own.
But there is a saying, there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics but only permanent interests, with ample problems and failure to adjust to new allies, trust problems, and fear of central agencies the parties that left NDA are considering a return to the BJP-led camp.
In 2018 few months before the Lok Sabha Polls the TDP supremo Chandra Babu Naidu announced that his party is parting ways with the NDA as the BJP government is not serious with the issues of Andhra Pradesh, and their treatment towards the state was“ step-motherly”. And after the elections, another long-time ally Akali Dal left the NDA in protest against the farm laws. Sources say now both of these parties are looking for a return to the NDA.
Both of these parties are known as anti-congress parties since their debut in electoral politics, and it is not easy for them to accept the Congress as their leader in the opposition-led alliance, with very few options in front the only way they can survive is by coming back to the BJP fold.
The biggest walkout from the NDA is when BJP’s long-term ally Shiv-Sena walked out of the NDA and joined hands with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party to form an unholy alliance. But the Sena is now spilt, all thanks to Home Minister Amit Shah’s strategy. In Bihar, the JDU returned to the opposition fold after cracks arrived in the JDU- BJP alliance but there is no guarantee that Nitish will be with the UPA till 2024, he make his return to the NDA anytime.
The Bharat Rashtra Samiti in Telangana and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, which helped the BJP grow in their states at the expense of the Congress and Left, are facing extreme pressure from the central agencies it will not be a surprise if they end up joining the NDA after the 2024 polls.
Will the BJP take them back?
The BJP is likely to take some of these parties but not all of these in Punjab they may take the Akalis back as the BJP doesn’t have a strong organization in the state. But it is highly unlikely the BJP will consider taking the TDP and JDU back as the BJP doesn’t want to make the YSR Congress dissatisfied in Andhra by aligning with the TDP. In the case of JDU, the BJP knows the JDU is losing relevancy in Bihar and the BJP is capable to fight the RJD alone in the state. Moreover, the BJP believes the Modi factor will help them win a good number of seats in the state when it comes to Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP may face a tough task in Maharashtra without the Uddhav faction of sena, as it is believed that the Thackrey group still holds more ground than the Shinde camp in the state. But again like other parts of the country, the BJP will depend on the Namo factor in Maharashtra as well.