Cong must heed Nitish call for fair deal to all: JD(U)
Nitish Kumar was the prime mover behind the formation of the anti-BJP bloc INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) earlier this year.
The Janata Dal (United), whose supremo and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was the prime mover behind the formation of the anti-BJP bloc INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) earlier this year, on Tuesday blamed the Congress’s defeat in the just concluded assembly polls in three Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh on its “overconfidence” while nudging the grand old party to decide “on a fresh strategy by taking everyone along”.
Bihar parliamentary affairs minister, Vijay Kumar Choudhary, who is from the JD(U), said, “There is not much time left (for the 2024 parliamentary polls) and the Congress should take the message from the debacle in three big states. Time demands that all the leaders of INDIA bloc get down to basics without further delay with a practical approach and complete distribution of seats in all the states. (The) Nitish Kumar-model is of (a) united fight and if that happens, win is not improbable,” said Choudhary.
JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi pitched for the “Nitish model of giving everyone a level-playing field”.
“Congress will have to show a big heart. In key states like Bihar, Maharashtra, UP, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, it will have to offer the lead role to much stronger regional parties. After RJD and JD(U), not much is left for Congress in Bihar. We will give Congress its due, but it should not try to be overconfident to the extent of ignoring regional parties as it will be counterproductive,” he said.
Tyagi said the Nitish model will also keep the doors open for parties like the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the YSR Congress for post-poll alliances.
“BJD was carved out of Janata Dal and the YSR Congress out of the Congress. They are from a socialist background. Today, they are not with us, but after polls, they may be helpful if the situation demands. The most important thing is to work out a workable plan and implement it. In many states, regional parties are the force and Congress needs to understand this. We can fight around 490 seats together effectively,” he said.
“By failing to honour the commitments of the alliance it formed, and neglecting regional parties, Congress has fumbled in overconfidence. JD(U) has said what it needed to do and now the Congress has to decide on a fresh strategy by taking everyone along. Nitish Kumar is the initiator of the opposition alliance and his strategy of putting the best foot forward in each state needs to be accepted and applied,” said Tyagi.
“The Congress debacle in three states should be seen as an opportunity to work together for a realistic fight against a much strong and more organised BJP in 2024,” said DN Diwakar, former director of the AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies.
“Congress is the biggest party in the Opposition, but it cannot go the full distance on its own, as has been proved. It requires effective partners and for that it will have to give others space. Regional parties cannot give their space to Congress. Therefore, a common ground will have to be worked out and what Nitish Kumar said is all about that. JD(U) is not the biggest party even in Bihar, but an arrangement has been made here and that is running,” he said.
Bihar BJP president Samrat Choudhary, however, said the opposition alliance cannot match the impact of Narendra Modi. “They know that even if they fight together, they will not be able to match it. Just watch. The opposition alliance will fragment due to its own contradictions. They have seen the writing on the wall. BJP will get more seats in 2024 than the last time,” he said.
Meanwhile, CM Kumar attended the Tuesday’s cabinet meeting after recovering from a bout of illness.