Nitish Kumar meets Opposition leaders in Delhi to unite against BJP
The Bihar chief minister reiterated that he does not intend to pitch himself to be a prime ministerial candidate.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday met several leaders of the Opposition in New Delhi in a bid to unite them against the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Kumar held meetings with Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India’s D Raja, Indian National Lok Dal chief Om Prakash Chautala and Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav.
“It is time for the Left parties, the Congress and all regional parties to come together to form a united opposition,” Kumar told reporters.
He also reiterated that he does not intend to pitch himself to be a prime ministerial candidate.
“First, the agenda is to unite all parties, not to decide on the PM candidate,” Kumar said, according to PTI. “When the time comes we will decide on the PM candidate and let you all know.”
On Monday, the Bihar chief minister met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at his home in Delhi. “There is a concerted effort to weaken regional parties,” he told reporters then, according to NDTV.
His visit to the national capital was the first since Kumar severed alliance with the BJP in Bihar on August 9 and joined hands with the Mahagathbandhan, or the Grand Alliance, to form the government the next day. The saffron party claims that the Janata Dal (United) leader wishes to become the next prime minister.
On September 3, Kumar claimed that the BJP would be reduced to 50 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections if all Opposition parties unite.
On August 31, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao visited Kumar in Patna and called for a “Bharatiya Janata Party-mukt Bharat [India devoid of Bharatiya Janata Party]”.
While Rao was earlier inclined to form a third front, during the meeting with Kumar, he showed interest in joining the Opposition. He had told reporters in Patna: “Why third front, we are working on the main front.”