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From the failure of Nitish Kumar to the departure of Ashok Chavan, five new setbacks for the INDIA bloc

The National Inclusive Alliance for India’s Development, also known as INDIA, the opposition bloc, was formed in July 2023. At least 26 opposition parties had united in their “mission” to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections. However, the opposition bloc has suffered a series of setbacks even before the Electoral Commission announced the dates of the next general elections. READ ALSO: INDIA alliance strong, resignation of two parties will have no impact: Jairam Ramesh“Congress cannot think beyond a single family. A few days ago, they formed a ‘Bhanumati ka Kunba (Bhanumati clan, i.e. a group of disparate people)’ but then they started ‘Ekla chalo re (Walk alone)’, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his veiled jibe at INDIA. during his speech to the Lok Sabha last week. “Congress recently learned about the job of an auto mechanic, so they should already know what alignment is. But they have managed to misalign the Opposition alliance… They do not trust each other. “How can they have faith in the country?” added the prime minister. These are the events that took place in the last month, indicating that all is not well within the INDIA block:

Maha Cong leaves

A file photo of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge with party leader Rahul Gandhi and Sharad Pawar at an Inclusive National Alliance for India’s Development protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. (PTI File)

On January 10, INDIA alliance members had reached an “understanding” for nearly 40 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra while negotiations were underway for the remaining eight seats in the state, HT has learnt. Barely four days later, Congress leader Milind Deora quit the party and joined the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena. Less than a month later, Baba Siddique, a three-term legislator from Bandra West assembly constituency, quit the grand party and joined Ajit Pawar’s NCP. But Congress suffered the biggest jolt on Monday when former chief minister Ashok Chavan also quit the party and joined the BJP.

Nitish leaves INDIA over Modi’s confidentiality agreement

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In June 2023, Nitish Kumar started the opposition unity movement and brought together parties other than the BJP for a meeting in Patna. A month later, the INDIA alliance was formed. However, the Bihar chief minister surprised his allies on June 28 when he again abandoned his friend-turned-foe-turned-friend, Rashtriya Janata Dal, to return to the NDA fold. He was sworn in as prime minister for the ninth time in his political career, the first in 2000, and on Monday he successfully demonstrated a majority in the assembly. “Before this, his father and mother had the opportunity to work, what happened then in Bihar? Would anyone dare to go out at night at that time? Was there a way? Kumar said as he attacked the RJD.

Jayant Chaudhary’s RLD to join NDA

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh will receive the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour. “Dil Jeet Liya,” Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary, also the grandson of the late former prime minister, posted on X. “Koi kasar rehti hai? Aaj main kis muh se inkaar karoon aapke sawalon ko (Is there any doubt? How can I refuse today?),” Chaudhary had said when asked if he would join the NDA. HT has learned that the BJP-RLD alliance is just an announcement. The RLD, which enjoys considerable influence in western UP, had fought in alliance with the SP and the BSP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and with the SP in the 2022 assembly elections. announcement is definitely a blow to both the SP and the Congress who were looking to consolidate their fight against the BJP, which had won 62 seats in the state.

Kejriwal declares to contest LS elections only in Punjab

Last week, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that his Aam Aadmi Party will contest all 13 seats in Punjab and just one in Chandigarh.

“For the Lok Sabha elections, Punjab has 13 seats and one from Chandigarh, a total of 14 seats. In the next 10-15 days, AAP will declare its candidates in all these 14 seats,” Kejriwal had said, extinguishing any hopes of a joint fight by the INDIA alliance in the state it won by a landslide in 2022.READ ALSO: AAP offers Congress an electoral offer and says it does not deserve even a seat on merit

Mamata abandons her allies from INDIA, Cong and Left

Mamata Banerjee, a vocal critic of the Modi administration and an active member of the INDIA bloc, dealt a blow last month by announcing her decision to contest all 42 seats in Bengal alone. Days later, she even took a jibe at the Congress saying it was doubtful the grand old party would win even 40 seats in the upcoming elections. Banerjee, who had taken over as chief minister after ending 34 years of Left rule in the state, had ruled out an alliance with the CPM.

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