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Ahead of INDIA's Mumbai Meet, Nitish Says 'Only Want Opposition Unity, not Post'

It is the second time within 24 hours that Nitish Kumar has stated he does not want any post in the Opposition alliance.

Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: Two days ahead of the third meeting of the Opposition coalition, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), in Mumbai, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is the de facto chief of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), made it clear on Monday that he is not keen on any top post. He said he only wants to unite the Opposition to defeat BJP in the 2024 general elections.

This is the second time within 24 hours that Kumar has made it clear that he neither wants any post in the Opposition alliance nor wants to become anything. "I only want to unite Opposition parties. I have been saying this time and again," Kumar told the media in Hindi in response to reports that he was aiming to become the convenor of INDIA or he would accept the post of the convenor if offered.

Kumar questioned Bharatiya Janata Party's Bihar president Samrat Choudhary's reported statement that India did not become independent in 1947 after the long freedom movement but in 1977 after the JP movement. "This itself indicates how much he knows about independence and history," he said.

On Sunday, Kumar refuted reports that he has any personal aim or ambition to lead INDIA and become PM. In a clear-cut, strong political message to his friend turned foe BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Kumar has categorically said he would continue to work to unite opposition parties to defeat the BJP in next year's elections. He has reiterated that he has no personal wish or aim.

"I don't want anything, I have no personal wish. My sole aim or mission is to unite the Opposition, and I will work for it. I have been saying it since the beginning," Kumar said.

He made it clear to BJP leaders that repeated statements about Kumar being allegedly upset and disappointed and sidelined in Opposition alliance INDIA and his dream to become PM ending were meaningless.

However, the Bihar CM sounded confident that several things will be finalised in the much-awaited meeting in Mumbai, and a few other regional parties will join in.

Kumar has clarified that he seeks to finalise at the meeting who or which party will contest to what capacity and from where. "Some other parties will participate in the Mumbai meeting," he said.

Kumar further said that BJP leaders have been attacking and targeting him regularly because the saffron party sensed that his efforts to unite the Opposition are bound to harm it in next year's general elections.

After the INDIA bloc's second meeting in Bengaluru last month, Kumar said he did not wish to become the alliance convenor. "My only aim is to unite the Opposition to defeat BJP," he had said. Then, in July, BJP leaders claimed that Kumar was unhappy over not being named convenor.

JD-U leaders have also asserted that the opposition alliance's main aim is to defeat the BJP.

JD-U is one of the major allies of the ruling Mahagathbandhan that consists of the Rashtriya Janata Dal led by Lalu Prasad Yadav, Congress, and three Left parties—CPI(ML), CPI(M), and CPI. It is considered a strong political force in Bihar compared to the BJP-led NDA that was recently joined by three small regional parties. 

The top BJP leadership, including PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, are said to be reportedly worried about the BJP facing the next election on its own in Bihar. It is one of the states where the saffron party is set to face a significant challenge from the ruling Mahagathbandhan.

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