2024 Elections: Nitish Kumar Wants A "Main Front" Against The BJP Without A Decided Leader

by Swarajya Staff - Sep 8, 2022 10:34 PM +05:30 IST
2024 Elections: Nitish Kumar Wants A "Main Front" Against The BJP Without A Decided LeaderNitish Kumar with Sharad Pawar on 7 September 2022
  • Nitish Kumar said a decision on the leadership of the united opposition can be taken later.

    He believes that the Congress and the Left are an integral part of an anti-BJP front.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was on a three-day visit to Delhi with the aim of forging 'opposition unity'.

Meeting Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav were the highlights of Kumar's visit.

He left Patna after meeting Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the presence of Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav and Rabri Devi at their residence on Monday (5 September).

Congress leader and MP from Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi was first on Kumar's list. He expressed gratitude to Gandhi for Congress' support to the Bihar government. Strategy for the 2024 general elections and the possibility of bringing like-minded parties together were reportedly discussed.

Kumar concluded his day by meeting former Karnataka CM and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy. On Tuesday, Kumar met another former CM, Om Prakash Chautala in Gurugram. The INLD leader reportedly appreciated Kumar for leaving NDA.

Kumar met CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury at the latter's office. "We have discussed that if the Left parties, regional parties in different states, and Congress come together, then it will be a huge matter," Bihar CM said.

Yechury welcomed Kumar and asked opposition parties to come together to save the "country and constitution." Another CPI leader D Raja expressed support for Kumar "in the interest of the country and its future."

Kumar also met leaders of his government's alliance parties like RJD leader Sharad Yadav and CPI (ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. Bhattacharya called for a repetition of what happened in Bihar at the national level, where the BJP will be left alone and other parties come together.

Throughout his visit, he kept reiterating that he does not have aspirations to become a PM. After holding talks with Pawar, the JD(U) leader said it is important for the opposition parties to come together first and a decision on its leadership can be taken later.

The JD(U) leader said the time was ripe to present an alternative to the BJP, which, he alleged, was "not doing anything for the people". "Both Pawar and I are keen to unite opposition forces who are not with the BJP," Kumar said.

The Bihar CM said he had very positive discussions with all the opposition leaders and expressed the hope that they will gradually veer towards having a structured programme and agenda.

To a question about the possibility of a non-BJP and non-Congress 'third front', which was experimented with in the past, he said, "If a front has to be made, it will be the main front, not the third front."

"An understanding between the Congress, the Left, parties with socialist background and others will be in national interest. If all non-BJP parties in various states come together, then a good atmosphere will emerge in the country," Kumar said, hinting towards the ideological stance of this front.

He concluded his visit by meeting President Droupadi Murmu and Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar. Kumar said that he would meet Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi after she returns from abroad.

Kumar had earlier met Telangana Chief Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao during the latter's visit to Patna. However, they seemed to differ over the 'third front'.

According to KCR, a ‘third front’ comprised of regional parties, whereas, for Kumar, the Congress and the Left have to be an integral part of an anti-BJP front.

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee doesn't seem to have gotten over 'Khela Hobe' as she said, "In 2024, we will play a game that will start from Bengal. Hemant (Soren), Akhilesh (Yadav), Nitish (Kumar), I and other friends will unite then. How will they (BJP) form government then?"

With the Congress also commencing 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', the opposition appears to be active at the moment. However, a concrete plan to take on the BJP and a common agenda is still missing.

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