Opposition Unity as a Strategy to Defeat NDA in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024
With less than a year left for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024, the leaders from various opposition parties will meet on June 23 in Patna. Fostering opposition parties’ unity is the agenda of the upcoming opposition meeting.
According to the National President of JD(U) Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh, Mamta Banerjee from TMC, Arvind Kejriwal from AAP, Hemant Sorien from JMM, and M K Stalin from DMK are a few leaders who have sent their consent to attend the opposition party meeting. Moreover, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal confirmed the presence of Malikaarjuna Kharge and Rahul Gandhi in the upcoming opposition party meeting.
In 2019, Narendra Modi became the only Prime Minister (PM) to get a public mandate for the second term consecutively with a full majority after Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
Since the TMC victory in West Bengal’s Legislative Assembly Elections in 2021, the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, has been propagating for opposition unity to fight against the NDA in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024.
After ending the alliance with BJP in 2022, JD(U) also propagated for opposition unity to fight the NDA in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. Nitish Kumar, the JD(U) leader, and Bihar Chief Minister, took the forefront in building opposition unity and has been individually meeting the Non-BJP Chief Ministers and various leaders from opposition parties. For instance, Nitish Kumar met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav separately in April 2023.
BJP referred to Nitish Kumar as a “political middleman” due to his endeavor and effort to unite the opposition party.
After the Nitish Kumar-Mamata Banerjee meeting in April 2023, Nitish Kumar said that the opposition parties must sit together and devise a plan for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. Similarly, Mamata assured that there would be no personal ego among the opposition parties, and they would work together collectively in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024.
Initially, Nitish Kumar was supposed to host a meeting of opposition parties in Patna on June 12, but the meeting date got postponed to June 23 after the INC, DMK, and CPI-M requested postponement of the meeting. This is the first meeting ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2024, where various opposition leaders will be meeting to frost opposition unity and strategize for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections next year.
After Nitish Kumar announced the postponement of the opposition parties meeting to June 23, BJP’s General Secretary and Bihar in-charge Vinod Tawde said, “These parties can’t decide on a fixed date for a meeting. How are they going to decide on a joint strategy and PM candidate?”
Why is the Opposition Meeting Significant?
The achievement of opposition unity through the opposition meeting will ensure a direct one-to-one contest between the BJP and the united opposition parties in Lok Sabha Elections 2024. In other words, opposition unity will ensure a bipolar contest in most Lok Sabha Elections 2024 constituencies, so the anti-BJP votes will not get split. According to the Times of India, if the opposition meeting achieves its objective, nearly 453 constituencies will witness a bipolar electoral battle between BJP and the opposition in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024.
Why is this meeting scheduled to happen in Patna?
Historically, Patna has been the hub of Opposition parties after the emergency in the late 1970s under the leadership of Jaya Prakash Narayan, which was against the then Indira Gandhi-led government. Thus, Patna is perceived as a significant venue for the upcoming opposition meeting.
The opposition parties are eyeing opposition unity as a strategy to defeat the NDA in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. However, opposition unity will be challenging in a few states where two opposition parties are the main rivals.