Take decision on opposition coalition at earliest, Nitish Kumar tells Congress
Nitish Kumar said the Congress must not rest on its laurels that it gained after the Bharat Jodo Yatra and use the momentum to forge an alliance of the opposition parties
Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar on Saturday asked the Congress to take a decision at the earliest on forging a coalition of the parties opposed to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing the national convention of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) or CPI-ML Liberation in Patna, Kumar said the grand old party must not rest on its laurels that it gained after the Bharat Jodo Yatra and use the momentum to forge an alliance of the opposition parties. He added that the BJP’s tally could come down to 100, if the opposition’s alliance becomes a reality.
The event was also attended by senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid and deputy chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.
“I am waiting for the Congress’s nod to proceed, as other parties are willing to come together. The Congress shall decide which party it would align with and in what states,” Kumar said.
Hitting out at the BJP-led dispensation, he said the country was going through a miserable condition. “They (BJP leaders) are doing nothing for the people. They are indulging in self-praise and distorting history. We (opposition parties) want to take the country forward and hence it required the opposition’s unity,” Kumar said.
Echoing the chief minister’s views on the coalition against the BJP, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said that all opposition parties must come together and draw the action plan to take on the BJP and its allies.
“The Congress must decide on its role, as all the opposition parties are ready in the larger interest of the country,” he said, adding that the Congress party shall prepare on the seats where it’s in direct contest with the BJP.
Tejashwi said that they (Mahagathbandhan) do not have Ambani-Adani to bankroll them. “We also don’t misuse government institutions to crackdown the opposition. Yet despite being targeted, we came together in Bihar to teach the BJP a lesson and establish unity based on the country’s interest,” he said.
Salman Kurshid said he would take the message to the party high command and if required would advocate for it.
“You (Kumar) raised many points, some openly and some discreetly. As far as my understanding goes, the Congress party is thinking likewise. But the situation is akin to lovers, who take time to say I love you the first,” he said, adding that sometimes inexperienced lovers take too much time to make the first move.
The Congress leader called upon Nitish Kumar to pursue the Bihar model against the BJP’s “hate model.”
CPI-ML Liberation general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said it needed a grand unity of the opposition parties to wage a decisive struggle against attack on the Constitution and democracy. He urged the Congress to stand for spearheading the campaign to fight an “emergency-like situation”.
Taking a dig at chief minister Nitish Kumar, BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand said Kumar is under tremendous pressure by the RJD to vacate the CM’s position. “Kumar wants the Congress by his side to pre-empt any coop against him in the government,” said Anand.