Big Opposition Meet In Patna Soon? What Nitish Kumar Said


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday hinted that a meeting of opposition leaders may take place in Patna after the crucial Karnataka assembly polls were over as many would be busy electioneering there.

The JD (U) supremo said issues related to forging opposition unity could be expected to be discussed at length at this meeting.

“We will definitely sit together and discuss the issue pertaining to the formation of an alliance of opposition parties to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

“Currently, some leaders are busy in the assembly poll (Karnataka). Once it is over, we will finalize the venue of our meeting. If Patna is unanimously decided as the next venue of the meeting of opposition leaders, it will be held here,” Mr Kumar said.

“We will be happy to organize this meeting in Patna,” he added.

It may be recalled that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, after meeting Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, in Kolkata on April 24, had requested her counterpart to organise a meeting of all non-BJP parties in Patna to discuss opposition unity before the coming Lok Sabha elections.

โ€œI have made just one request to Nitish Kumar. Jayaprakash ji’s movement started from Bihar. If we have an all-party meeting in Bihar, we can then decide where we have to go next, Ms Banerjee had said after the meeting with Mr Kumar in Kolkata.

Mr Kumar, acknowledging this friendly demand by his TMC counterpart said “Unhone–Mamata Banerjee–to Bola Hin Tha Patna mein meeting ke liye ( Mamata Banerjee had sought the meeting in Patna).” “We are making efforts to unite more and more parties in the country against the BJP-led central government. I recently met several opposition leaders. Now I will talk to other non BJP parties … My aim is to unite opposition parties before the general elections,” he said.

After meeting Mamata Banerjee, Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav had met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow on the same day and discussed the formation of an alliance of opposition parties.

TMC and SP which earlier wanted to keep both Congress and BJP at equi-distance seem to have changed their stance and conveyed as much after the separate meetings the two parties leaders had with Mr Kumar.

Prior to this Mr Kumar and his deputy Yadav had also met Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge in Delhi on April 12.

Besides, Mr Kumar met Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, who had conceded that it was “extremely necessary” that the entire opposition and the country came together and change the government at the Centre.

Mr Kumar, on several occasions in the past, had appealed to all opposition parties, including the Congress, to join hands to defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

โ€œA united front” would be able to reduce the BJP to less than 100 seatsโ€, Mr Kumar had said while speaking at the 11th general convention of the Communist Party of India (Marxistโ€“Leninist) Liberation or CPI-ML, which has extended outside support to the Kumar-led Mahagathbandhan government, in February in Patna.

He had also reiterated that he does not have any ambitions to become the Prime Minister, or was a contender for the post.

Meanwhile, Mr Kumar also met Lalu Prasad on Friday, as the RJD supremo landed in his hometown after seven months, amid speculations that the two leaders will jointly work towards forging a country-wide opposition unity to take on the BJP.

Mr Prasad had been away for close to seven months, during which he underwent a kidney transplant in Singapore. Known as ‘bada bhai-chhota bhai’ (big brother-little brother) in the political lexicon of Bihar, the RJD chief and the JD(U) supreme leader have been close associates since the JP Movement’ of the 1970s when both were student leaders.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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