Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has long nurtured prime ministerial ambitions. But his hopes of leading a united opposition as the PM candidate in 2024 polls received a jolt after he refused the convenor’s post in the India Alliance meet.
Nitish stated he does not hanker for posts when his name was proposed for the key role that binds the alliance. This came as a surprise since he had recently assumed JDU’s reins, indicating intent to steer the party’s national ambitions.
His PM dreams now hinge on the opposition alliance’s performance in upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Nitish can only stake claim if the alliance bags 272+ seats, which looks difficult based on current projections.
So far, Nitish enjoys the backing of only 26 MPs from RJD, SP, NCP and CPI(M). But the support of Congress, TMC and other major players is still unclear. Even alliance partners like Mamata Banerjee have opposed Nitish’s name for convenor.
Only once has an opposition alliance convener gone on to become PM – VP Singh in 1989. After him, no coordinator has been able to secure the top post despite several front victories.
Ultimately, Nitish’s fate depends on defeating BJP and NDA’s numbers in a direct face-off in the 2024 electoral battle. If NDA manages a majority again, PM Modi will continue his tenure. With under 100 days left, Nitish faces a mountainous task to turn his PM dreams into reality.