NEW DELHI: “It’s never too late to mend,” goes the adage, and in the ever-shifting landscape of politics in India, this rings especially true. As alliances evolve and partners realign, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) finds itself at the centre of attention once again, with several former allies contemplating a return to the fold ahead of the crucial 2024 elections.

The BJP: The Architect Of The NDA 

At the heart of the NDA stands the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), orchestrating the intricate dance of coalition politics. With the advent of the Narendra Modi era, the NDA witnessed a seismic shift in its composition after the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Now, as the countdown to the 2024 polls begins, attention turns to those allies who are either making a comeback or seriously considering it, following in the footsteps of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s recent U-turn.

Modi-Shah Era And Its Impact On The NDA

In 2013, when Narendra Modi was anointed as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, the NDA boasted 29 constituent parties. While the BJP swept the elections with 282 seats in the Lok Sabha, its allies clinched an additional 54 seats. However, in the subsequent five years of Modi’s tenure, 16 parties bid adieu to the NDA, signaling a period of flux and transition within the alliance.

Departures And Realignments

Lessons from 2014 and 2019 The run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections saw the high-profile departure of Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), setting the stage for a series of exits by regional players such as the Haryana Janhit Congress and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Between 2014 and 2019, several other parties, including the Telugu Desam Party and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, followed suit, reshaping the NDA’s landscape.

Recent Exits And Returns

Shiv Sena, SAD, and JD(U) Post-2019, the NDA witnessed the departure of stalwart allies like the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal, while Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) made a surprising comeback following the Bihar Assembly elections in 2022. These developments underscore the fluid nature of coalition politics, where alliances can shift with the changing tides of public sentiment and regional dynamics.

As the 2024 elections loom large, speculation abounds regarding potential returns to the NDA fold. Nitish Kumar’s departure from the opposition alliance signals a significant shift, with other influential figures like Chandrababu Naidu and Uddhav Thackeray also engaging in strategic dialogues with the BJP. Meanwhile, negotiations with regional heavyweights like the Akali Dal and the potential announcement from Jayant Chaudhary hint at further realignments on the horizon.

Amidst these political manoeuvres, the NDA alliance appears poised for a resurgence, consolidating its position ahead of the electoral battleground. Yet, the road to power is fraught with challenges, requiring both new and returning allies to navigate the intricate web of coalition politics. As Prime Minister Modi’s ambitious “400 plus” slogan reverberates, the stage is set for a high-stakes showdown, with the Congress eagerly watching for any signs of weakness within the NDA camp.

 Who’s Next In Line For The ‘Ghar Wapasi’ In NDA?

With Nitish Kumar’s recent defection setting the stage, the question on everyone’s mind is: who will be the next to heed the call of ‘Ghar Wapasi’ within the NDA alliance? As alliances shift and political fortunes fluctuate, one thing remains certain: the 2024 elections promise to be a watershed moment in India’s political landscape, with the NDA at the forefront of the action.