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Political Parties Kick Off 2024 Parliamentary Election Campaign in India's Bihar

© Photo : Twitter/ @yadavtejashwiBihar deputy state chief Tejashwi Yadav
Bihar deputy state chief Tejashwi Yadav - Sputnik India, 1920, 25.02.2023
Elections in India are held to elect the federal government. There are currently a total of 543 seats nationwide.
Diverse political parties in Bihar state kicked off their campaigns this Saturday some 14 months ahead of the 2024 parliamentary elections.

Political Dynamics in Bihar

The political landscape in Bihar has changed since the previous parliamentary elections in 2019 when the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) – comprised of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal United (JDU) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) – won 39 out of 40 parliamentary seats in the state.
The BJP-led NDA looks to form an anti-Congress Party coalition.
However, the JDU left the alliance in August 2022. It was the second time that the JDU had broken with the BJP. In 2014, the party protested the selection of Narendra Modi as prime ministerial candidate.
The 2014 split followed around nine years of BJP-JDU rule in the state. At the time, the JDU went on to form the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Party and Congress Party to take on the BJP.
The Mahagathbandhan won the 2015 state assembly polls - elections to elect state government - thus making BJP the opposition party in the state.
However, in 2017, the JDU parted ways from the Mahagathbandhan after then-deputy state chief Tejashwi Yadav refused to resign following allegations of corruption. After that, it again joined hands with the BJP in 2020, before leaving again last August.

Campaigns in Bihar

As political parties prepare for the 2024 polls, Bihar's ruling Mahagathbandhan alliance and opposition BJP are both holding rallies.
For the Mahagathbandhan, state chief and JDU chairperson Nitish Kumar will be holding a rally in the Purnia district in the eastern part of the state.
Kumar will be joined by deputy state chief Tejashwi Yadav and politicians of other allies like Congress and the Left Front in a display of “united opposition”. Kumar has been advocating a united opposition as he believes that this can defeat the BJP in the 2024 parliamentary polls.
While talking to the media before the rally, Yadav hit out at the BJP: “The BJP has one job in the nation, to spread hate in the society and create riots. On the other side, we will give out a message of peace and harmony. The people of Bihar have decided to remove the BJP from power in 2024.”

Amit Shah's Rally

Meanwhile, federal home minister and BJP’s principal strategist, Amit Shah, will be addressing a public meeting in the Balmiki Nagar constituency.
Following the rally, he is scheduled to travel to the state capital Patna to address another meeting of farmers.
He is also scheduled to pay his respects at Takht Harmandir Patna Sahib, the renowned Sikh shrine where Guru Gobind Singh was born and spent his early years.
Notably, Shah is visiting Bihar after a gap of more than four months.
Talking about Shah’s visit to the state, a BJP regional spokesperson said: “The BJP stands on the two pillars of organizational strength and ideological commitment and the Federal Home Minister's Bihar visit is a reaffirmation of the same. The Mahagathbandhan, on the other hand, has chosen the communally sensitive Seemanchal area to play its card of Muslim appeasement.”
However, the opposition RJD is skeptical, claiming that Shah’s visit will “accomplish little”.