After meeting with top leaders of the Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Delhi on Wednesday, Congress’ Rahul Gandhi said that a historic step has been taken to unite Opposition parties.
Gandhi, along with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav in the national capital. Janata Dal (United) president Rajiv Ranjan Singh, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Kumar Jha and Congress leader Salman Khurshid were also present at the meeting.
At a press conference after the meeting, the four leaders said that the three parties will contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections together.
“This is a process, and we will work towards developing Opposition’s vision for the country,” Gandhi said. “We will work together with Opposition parties that will join us to fight against the attack on government institutions and the country.”
Nitish Kumar said that more and more Opposition parties should come together to fight against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre.
“We will make an effort [to unite Opposition parties],” Kumar said. “[If] everybody agrees, we will sit and together we will move forward together. This has been decided. They [Congress] have spoken to some people on these issues, we are also talking. Based on today’s discussions, we will move forward.”
Wednesday’s development comes after Kharge had said in February that the Congress will form the government in 2024 Lok Sabha elections with its allies. The Congress, during its three-day plenary session in Raipur in February, had also expressed its wish to ally with the Trinamool Congress.
However, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had said last month that her party will contest the Lok Sabha elections alone.
Meanwhile, Telangana’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K Kavitha had also said last month that the Congress was no more a national party and it should align itself with regional parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“Congress party has the habit of undermining regional parties that raise their voice against the Bharatiya Janata Party,” Kavitha, the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, had said at a press conference. “They [Congress] think that the regional parties are their B team or C team. However, if you look at the state of the party today it is that of a big regional party. They are not a national party anymore.”