On the 2024 election backer, the opposition front is making a strategy to give a strong fight to the BJP. If everything goes well, Nitish Kumar can soon become the coordinator of the opposition alliance INDIA. Meanwhile, the speculation about Nitish Kumar contesting from UP in the Lok Sabha elections has also increased.
According to the news agency IANS, the Uttar Pradesh unit of Janata Dal United has demanded Nitish Kumar to contest from here. The organization says that if Nitish contests from here, a big message will go and the opposition alliance with the party will also get strengthened.
The talk of Nitish contesting from UP got more force when his close minister Shravan Kumar visited the state recently. IP Singh, who was a former minister in the Akhilesh government, has also declared Nitish as the future MP of 2024 from Phulpur. According to Singh, Nitish will also be the next Prime Minister of the country.
There is a discussion in the political circles whether Nitish Kumar can really contest the elections from UP? If so, from where?
How many times did Nitish become a Lok Sabha MP?
After becoming MLA from Nalanda’s Harnaut in 1985, Nitish Kumar tried his luck in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections. Nitish contested from Barh Lok Sabha seat on Janata Dal ticket. He got the advantage of anti-incumbency against Congress and won the election by 78 thousand votes.
In 1991 also, Nitish won the election with Janata Dal ticket. This time the margin of victory was more than one and a half lakh. After split in Janata Dal, Nitish contested from this seat in 1996 election on the symbol of Samta Party. Nitish managed to reach Parliament this time too.
In 1998, 1999 also Nitish reached the Lok Sabha from Barh seat. In 2004, Nitish contested elections from Badh and Nalanda seats. Nitish had to face defeat from Barh seat. However, he managed to win from Nalanda. Nitish Kumar resigned from the Lok Sabha after becoming the Chief Minister of Bihar in 2005.
Why the talk of Nitish contesting from UP?
1. The weakness of the alliance is strong UP- Uttar Pradesh has a total of 80 Lok Sabha seats, which is very important for going to Delhi. Compared to Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal, the alliance’s math is weak here. Congress, SP and RLD are preparing to contest elections in UP in alliance.
The vote percentage of all the three parties is very less as compared to BJP. If we look at the figures of 2022, the BJP alliance currently has 45 percent votes, while the opposition front has only 37 percent. There is a gap of 8 percent between BJP alliance and INDIA’s votes.
2019 Lok Sabha elections the BJP alliance got more than 50 percent votes. Congress got 6 and SP got 18 percent votes. In such a situation, the opposition is trying to correct the equation by adding castes. Kurmis (6 percent) are the second largest OBC caste in UP after Yadavs.
Nitish Kumar is considered a big leader of Kurmi. In such a situation, the opposition wants to cultivate Kurmi with his help, especially SP in UP.
2. Need more seats to become PM- In the meeting of the opposition front, Congress has withdrawn its claim for the post of Prime Minister, after which Nitish Kumar’s claim is considered strong.
Political experts say that if the opposition succeeds in forming the government, then the leader of the party which will have more seats after the Congress will be a strong contender for the post of Prime Minister.
There are a total of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, out of which Nitish Kumar can contest only on a maximum of 20 seats. In such a situation, JDU is trying to contest some seats in Jharkhand and UP as well, so that maximum seats can be won.
Under what circumstances can Nitish contest elections from UP?
Nitish Kumar’s party does not have a strong support base in Uttar Pradesh. In the 2022 elections, JDU fielded its candidates on 27 seats in UP, but most of them forfeited their deposits. Dhananjay Singh was successful in saving his deposit only from Malhani seat.
Political analyst Ratan Mani Lal says – After the formation of a new alliance of opposition parties, a formula can be formed. Nitish can definitely test the scale of his popularity through elections.
However, it is difficult to win from any other state except Bihar as other three to four political parties are strong in UP. If Nitish becomes a face of all opposition then he can try his luck.
If Nitish Kumar gets the green signal from the opposition for the post of Prime Minister, then he can contest the elections. Experts say that in 2014, when Narendra Modi became the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, he contested from the Varanasi seat.
Senior journalist Om Prakash Ashk says- Nitish is an expert player of political messaging. He will contest the Lok Sabha elections only when he gets political assurance from major parties. If Congress, SP and RJD assure him the post of PM, then Nitish can contest the election.
a discussion Narendra Modi has to contest elections from the south. It is being said that this time Modi can contest from any seat in Tamil Nadu along with Varanasi. If Modi goes south, then Nitish can run a campaign to leave the battle by contesting from Uttar Pradesh.
Those 3 seats, from where there is more talk of contesting elections
1. Phulpur- BJP’s Keshari Devi Patel is currently the MP from Phulpur seat in Prayagraj district of Uttar Pradesh. There are about 20 lakh voters in Phulpur seat. This seat is dominated by Kurmi, Yadav and Muslim. This seat has been in limelight since 1952.
Jawaharlal Nehru has been MP from here for 3 times. VP Singh, who became the Prime Minister of the country in 1989, has also been an MP from here. Janeshwar Mishra has also represented this seat.
2 leaders (Jawahar Lal Nehru and VP Singh) who were MPs from Phulpur have been the Prime Minister of the country. Nitish can strengthen his claim by contesting from Phulpur.
2. Ambedkar Nagar- Ritesh Pandey of BSP is currently the MP from Ambedkar Nagar, which came into existence for the first time in 2009. This seat is dominated by Muslims and Dalits, but for the last 3 times only Brahmin leaders are reaching the Parliament.
In the 2022 elections, the SP had won all the five seats in this district. The party has handed over the chair of national general secretary to Ram Achal Rajbhar and Lalji Verma of the district. Ambedkar Nagar is considered to be a stronghold of SP.
3. Mirzapur- Apart from Phulpur and Ambedkarnagar, there is speculation that Nitish Kumar will contest from Mirzapur seat as well. Presently Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal is the MP from here. This seat is also considered to be Kurmi dominated.
In 1996, the SP fielded Phoolan Devi and brought this seat into limelight. Dasyu Sundari Phoolan was also successful in winning the election. Only Patel leaders have been elected as MPs from this seat since 2009.
Will contesting elections of Nitish will harm BJP in UP?
Senior journalist Om Prakash Ashk says- The loss can happen when Nitish Kumar contests the elections with a common opposition. If Bihar’s politics goes on caste polarization and Nitish will contest from UP, then Purvanchal can definitely get affected.
There are about 30 Lok Sabha seats in Purvanchal. In 2019, BJP had won most of the seats. BJP has recently roped in Subhaspa to strengthen its fort in Purvanchal.
The entry of Nitish in UP may change the electoral equation of Prayagraj, Phulpur, Kaushambi, Jaunpur, Mirzapur and Ballia, where the BJP alliance currently dominates.