Lok Sabha Election results: Speculations put to an end! Nitish Kumar will attend the NDA meeting on Tuesday

Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar will attend the NDA meeting to be held in the national capital on Wednesday. Kumar, whose party is set to win 12 of the 40 seats in the state, will leave for Delhi in the morning. Kumar had visited Delhi over the weekend when he met top BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With the BJP falling short of a majority in the Lok Sabha and needing NDA allies to form a government at the Centre, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and TDP’s N Chandrababu Naidu have emerged as potential kingmakers.

While Kumar’s party was leading or had won in 12 seats, the TDP was leading or had won in 16 Lok Sabha seats, according to the latest data from the Election Commission. There has been turmoil in the NDA around most elections in the last 10 years, as the BJP’s big majority in the Lok Sabha and a shrinking opposition rendered most of its allies redundant, but the saffron party is expected to win around 240 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha this time around, allies will matter more than ever. Kumar’s relationship with the BJP goes back to the mid-1990s, when Kumar formed the Samata Party along with veteran socialist leader late George Fernandes as a revolt against then Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, who had gained a formidable presence in the party. The Janata Dal was founded by former prime minister V P Singh.

The alliance with the BJP, which ruled the country from 1998 to 2004, also provided the much-needed experience to Kumar, who had held key portfolios such as agriculture, railways and surface transport in the cabinet of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. However, it was not until 2005 that the moment of glory came for Kumar, whose party, now known as the JD(U), was formed after the Samata Party merged with another rebel Janata faction led by the late Sharad Yadav.

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