In a pivotal development, the I.N.D.I. Alliance of opposition parties is set to discuss the appointment of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as its national convener during a virtual meeting scheduled for Wednesday (3 January).
There are also deliberations among the bloc leaders in Bihar about designating Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge as the alliance's president or chairperson.
Sources within Nitish Kumar's party, Janata Dal (United)- JD(U), Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), and the Left parties in Bihar have informed The Indian Express that the Congress is leaning towards conceding the national convener position to JD(U) to maintain harmony with the Bihar Chief Minister.
A Congress leader mentioned, "At a time when Rahul Gandhi is embarking on an important yatra, we want to keep the momentum going. If Nitish Kumar crosses over to the BJP-led NDA, the effort to unite the opposition will fizzle out."
Initially hesitant, the RJD has now thrown its support behind the idea of Nitish Kumar becoming the I.N.D.I. Alliance convener, as it serves the party's interests in the state with the Bihar Chief Minister focusing more on national politics, reported Indian Express.
Also, congress leaders in Bihar emphasised that the opposition alliance should concentrate on states like Karnataka, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Odisha, collectively holding 179 Lok Sabha seats where it stands a chance of winning the most seats.
While the JD(U) officially remained tight-lipped about the likelihood of Nitish being appointed the alliance's convener, a party leader mentioned, "Making Nitish Kumar the convener is a good idea since he has played a key role in bringing parties with various hues and shapes on the same platform."
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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