With the 2024 Lok Sabha polls approaching, Bihar is set to witness a tense battle between the BJP-led NDA and the Grand Alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress. However, BSP supremo Mayawati could play spoilsport as her party aims to contest all 40 seats and eye significant vote share.
The Grand Alliance views Bihar as crucial to stopping the NDA’s march. But the assertive stance of BSP has raised worries in the JD(U) and RJD camps. BSP state in-charge Ram Ji Gautam has declared the party will fight all seats as its position is “very strong”.
In the 2020 assembly polls, BSP won 1 seat and was runner-up in 2. It secured 1.5% vote share. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the party got 2% votes though it drew a blank. BSP was third in 11 seats. These figures indicate it can damage the Grand Alliance if Dalit and downtrodden sections shift loyalty.
Recent state election results have bolstered BSP’s confidence. Despite being seen as a UP party, it won 2 seats in Rajasthan and recorded 1.82% votes. In MP, BSP got 3.4% votes. Hence, Bihar cannot be taken lightly.
With BSP aiming to eat into Grand Alliance votes, the JD(U)-RJD partnership faces a tough test. Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav need to jointly strategize to negate the Mayawati challenge. Otherwise, the NDA may have an easier path to sweeping Bihar in 2024.
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