'Historic step to unite opposition': Rahul Gandhi after meeting Nitish Kumar | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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'Historic step to unite opposition': Rahul Gandhi after meeting Nitish Kumar

Apr 12, 2023 03:25 PM IST

Congress-Janta Dal (United)-Rashtriya Janata Dal meeting: Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge met Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav in Delhi.

The Congress on Wednesday claimed a 'historic step' in attempts to unite the opposition and challenge prime minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in state polls this year and the 2024 general election.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi meet with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI Photo/Ayush Sharma)
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi meet with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI Photo/Ayush Sharma)

The declaration came after Congress boss Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leader Rahul Gandhi met Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar and his deputy, the Rashtriya Janata Dal's Tejashwi Yadav, in Delhi.

"This is a historic step to unite the opposition. We will develop the vision of the opposition parties and move forward… we will stand together for the country," Rahul Gandhi - whose controversial disqualification from the Lok Sabha last month has spurred opposition unity - told reporters.

"As Khargeji said… as Nitishji said…. this is a very important step. You ask 'how many opposition parties are needed (to defeat the BJP)'? This is a process… as many as want to join us, we will all proceed together. We are in an ideological battle for the country… there is an attack on institutions… on the nation itself… and this we (the opposition) will unite and fight," Rahul Gandhi added.

Earlier - at a joint press conference addressed by Kharge and Nitish Kumar - the Congress chief said: “Today… here… Rahulji and Bihar chief minister Nitishji and Tejashwiji and party leaders and friends… we had a historic meeting and discussed many issues… and have decided that all (opposition) parties must unite and fight forthcoming elections together. This is our decision today.”

"We will try to unite as many parties as we can and move forward together," Nitish Kumar said after the meeting at Mallikarjun Kharge's Delhi residence.

Also present were JD(U) president Lalan Singh; the head of the Bihar Congress, Akhilesh Prasad Singh; and the RJD's Manoj Jha. The JD(U), the RJD and the Congress are allies in Bihar; this was after the JD(U) broke from the BJP, with whom it won the last election, and re-joined with Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD.

Over the past few weeks Mallikarjun Kharge has reached out to several opposition leaders in a bid to reach an understanding to help stop the BJP from winning a third successive Lok Sabha election.

Among those contacted are Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin - whose Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is allied with the Congress - and ex-Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray - whose Shiv Sena faction is also an ally.

Today's talks between the Congress and its Bihar allies come as opposition parties prep for polls in Karnataka and other key states starting next month; the southern state will vote on May 10 and will be joined by Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh as the country heads for the 2024 general election.

With input from agencies

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