Control over levers of power will decide fate of anti-BJP forces in 2024

This was proved during Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao's visit to Patna recently. He gave the slogan of a "BJP Mukt Bharat".

Patna: After the “BJP Mukt Bharat” slogan of Telangana Chief Minister KCR, it is now clear that the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will mainly be a contest between the BJP and anti-BJP forces.

Every party is trying to stay in power in its state to take advantage of the government machinery and challenge the BJP. They understand how the BJP has been using the state machinery to reap political benefits. Hence, Opposition leaders like Lalan Singh, Tejashwi Yadav and others are trying to break the monopoly of the BJP which it has achieved through a landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and formed the government at the Centre on its own. The BJP was sitting pretty after forming the government in Maharashtra but the turnaround came after Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar changed the goal posts from the NDA to the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar.

This was proved during Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao’s visit to Patna recently. He gave the slogan of a “BJP Mukt Bharat”. It was a clear indication that the opposition leaders have the goal to strengthen their position in their own states and not allow the BJP to dictate terms.

Whenever the opportunity arises, the BJP tries to grab power in the state. It did it in Maharashtra and broke the JD-U in Manipur. The JD-U had 6 MLAs in Manipur and 5 of them joined the BJP on Friday.

Breaking the JD-U in Manipur unleashed a political storm in Bihar with the JD-U, RJD, HAM and the Congress criticizing the BJP.

Upendra Kushwaha, the president of JD-U parliamentary board said: “BJP leaders were weakening us when we were in a coalition with them. At that time, they were doing it silently and now they are doing it openly. We are strong in Bihar and we will take them on in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.”

“Before Manipur, the BJP broke the JD-U MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh during the 2020 Lok Sabha election. At that time, we were in alliance with the BJP. Due to this, we separated from the BJP in Bihar,” Kushwaha said.

Danish Rizwan, the spokesperson of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) said: “BJP leaders have forgotten the ideology of Syama Prasad Mukherjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyay, who said that if you are including any leader of another party, first you should ask them to resign and join your own party. Here, the current BJP leaders are using every propaganda ploy of horse trading, scaring them through investigating agencies.”

RJD MLA and chief spokesperson of the party Bhai Virendra said: “They are the successors of Nathu Ram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi. They were informers of British rulers and had no contribution in the freedom struggle. We cannot expect much from them. The meaning of BJP is “Badka Jhutha Party”. The people of the country understand their style of working. They will remove the BJP from the Centre in 2024.”

“Opposition leaders in the entire country are uniting against the BJP. They will throw out the BJP in 2024. The BJP is trying to break regional parties. They have got so much money from industrialists and they want to rule the country on the basis of money power,” Virendra said.

Neeraj Kumar, MLC and chief spokesperson of the JD-U said: “There is a basic change in the ideology of the BJP. The Atal-Advani duo of the BJP was different from the current BJP of Modi-Shah. The latter believes in breaking parties, not allowing any political party to flourish in any state. We won in Arunachal Pradesh on our own and the same in Manipur. The BJP broke our leaders in both the states. This is a democratic country, the people of the country are watching this and they will teach a lesson to Modi-Shah in 2024.”

At present, the BJP has to take on Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav in Bihar, Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Navin Patnaik in Odisha, Hemant Soren in Jharkhand, Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan, Arvind Kejriwal-Bhagwant Mann in Delhi and Punjab, Sharad Pawar-Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra, KCR in Telangana, MK Stalin in Tamil Nadu and the Left parties in Kerala.

These states and their leaders are holding the key to the Lok Sabha election 2024 as West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha seat and the Mamata Banerjee led TMC is in power. Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have Congress governments and they respectively have 25 and 11 seats. In Jharkhand, JMM led by Hemant Soren is in power and the state has 14 seats. Kerala has 20 Lok Sabha seats and the Left is ruling the state. In Telangana, KCR is ruling and it has 17 seats. The DMK led by MK Stalin is having its government in Tamil Nadu and it has 39 Lok Sabha seats, in Punjab the AAP is in power and it has 13 seats. The YSR Congress led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is ruling the state which has 25 seats. In Bihar, Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav are the big challengers in the 40 seats of the state. So, a total of 228 Lok Sabha seats fall in these states which are ruled by opposition parties where the BJP leaders cannot influence the government machinery.

Besides these, Maharashtra is another state where NCP leader Sharad Powar has considerable influence. Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats.

After the Maharashtra government changed, the BJP has the upper hand in the Lok Sabha election.

At present, the BJP is wielding power in big states like Uttar Pradesh with 80 Lok Sabha seats. Besides Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is ruling in Karnataka having 28 Lok Sabha seats, Madhya Pradesh having 29 seats, 26 in Gujarat, Assam having 14 seats, 10 in Haryana, 5 in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh has 4 seats, with the total reaching 196 Lok Sabha seats.

The BJP think tank knows that law and order is a state subject and the BJP cannot influence the state machinery for its political benefits. The government change in Maharashtra has given BJP the edge as it can now directly influence government machinery in 244 Lok Sabha seats. Besides, the turmoil in Jharkhand politics makes it reach closer to the magic figure of 272 seats.

The BJP won 303 seats in 2019 and formed the government at the Centre. JD-U state president Lalan Singh is claiming to cut 40 seats of the BJP in Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand. The BJP won 17 seats in Bihar, 16 seats in West Bengal and 11 seats in Jharkhand in 2019.

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