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BJP-Nitish tie-up to strengthen saffron ranks in Hindi heartland

NEW DELHI: Keen on boosting its prospects for the 2019 election, the Alliance with Nitish Kumar will help BJP consolidate itself in UP and Bihar, dominating the Hindi heartland that accounts for 120 Lok Sabha seats.

The re-alignment between BJP and JD(U) will increase NDA’s clout but could also spur a reworking of relations within the remainder of the opposition where even bitter foes like SP and BSP might be tempted to joining hands to prevent being steamrollered by a saffron-led juggernaut.

Left with Congress as an ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad may also seek smaller partners like Jitan Manjhi who had defected from JD(U) to team up with BJP in a failed bid to unseat Nitish in 2015.

Lalu may also try and pry Rashtriya Lok Samta Party leader Upendra Kushwaha from the NDA ranks.

BJP and its allies won 31 of 40 seats in 2014 and party has been exploring ways to retain the numbers after the setback it suffered in November 2015 when a grand alliance of Lalu-Nitish-Congress presented a caste coalition that proved too difficult to beat in the assembly polls.

A presence in the new coalition and the new caste combination could energise the BJP ranks and help beat incumbency in 2019.

After defeat in the 2015 assembly polls, BJP was concerned about its chances in the state which had played vital role in helping the party form the government at the Centre with a thumping majority.

Break of the grand alliance also hurts the possibility of the regional satraps joining hands forming a larger regional alliance to combat the BJP under Modi.

Lalu has repeatedly talked about “brokering” an alliance between Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh.

Such an alliance is key to the attempts of leaders like Lalu to cage the BJP in two states. However, exit of Nitish takes away the opportunity for the anti-BJP camp.

As BJP and RJD sources confirm reunion of the two parties fits into BJP president Amit Shah’s 2019 Lok Sabha polls plan as the party had identified 120 Lok Sabha constituencies where it hadn’t done well in the past but is optimistic of winning in the next polls.

Source : timesofindia

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BJP-Nitish tie-up to strengthen saffron ranks in Hindi heartland


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