Opposition | I.N.D.I.A. falls apart

Numbers, not ideology, determine politics in India. That truth was brought home yet again when Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar dumped the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress—for the second time in seven years—and went back to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which he had just abandoned in August 2022, taking oath as Bihar’s chief minister for the ninth time on January 28. However, Nitish’s latest about-turn hurts more than just the mahagathbandhan in the state, it has ended all hope of any credible opposition against the BJP in the Lok Sabha election coming up just after spring. “By taking one of the key architects of I.N.D.I.A., the BJP has dealt a psychological blow to the Opposition,” says election strategist-turned-political activist Prashant Kishor.

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