Bihar: Nitish Kumar Announces to Work for Opposition Unity to Defeat BJP in 2024
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. Image Courtesy:NDTV
Patna: In a bid to send a strong political message to his friend turned foe BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said that he would work to unite opposition leaders and forge ahead for the sake of the country. He has reiterated to go on a countrywide march to unite the opposition after the budget session of the state Assembly next month.
"My sole aim or mission is to unite the opposition, and I will work for it. I have been saying it. I have no personal wish to become the Prime Minister," Kumar told the media in Patna at a function. It is a different matter that leaders of Kumar's JD-U (Janata-Dal United) regularly project him as the prime ministerial candidate.
Kumar has made his plan clear to unite the opposition to defeat BJP in the next general elections. This comes a day after a grand opposition rally at Khammam in Telangana by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, to which Kumar was not invited.
In reply to why he was not invited by KCR at the opposition rally on January 18, Kumar said he was unaware of a rally being held as he was busy with his ongoing Samadhan Yatra in the state.
"Even if I was invited, it was difficult for me to attend."
Interestingly, KCR has also not invited Kumar's ally, RJD, as the deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, is also not attending the opposition rally.
Last year KCR met Kumar during his visit here but did not announce his support for Kumar as the opposition PM candidate as was expected by JD-U.
Kumar has been talking about non-BJP opposition unity after dumping BJP and joining hands with RJD, Congress and Left parties to form the Mahagathbandhan government in the state in August last year. In recent months, Kumar has made it clear that a united opposition can remove BJP from power.
Political watchers here pointed out that seasoned politician Kumar knew well that only opposition unity would pave the way for a strong political front to challenge BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2024.
"Unity of all opposition parties is a must to challenge BJP, and it is a big, difficult task. Kumar seems to be aware of it," DM Diwakar, former director of AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna, told NewsClick
Only last week, JD-U national president Lalan Singh claimed that Kumar is suitable for the PM post as he has all the qualities. Several JD-U leaders, including MLAs, MLCs and MPs, projected him as PM material.
Ruling Mahagathbandhan allies HAM and RJD have supported Kumar as the Opposition PM candidate.
According to RJD leaders, Lalu Prasad Yadav will return from Singapore in February, and he will play the main role in facilitating Kumar as the opposition PM candidate.
"Laluji is in touch with opposition leaders across the country to garner support for Kumar. Laluji will help Kumar go for national politics to ensure Tejashwi Yadav becomes (the) chief minister," a senior RJD leader told NewsClick.
Sensing this as a political move to challenge Modi, BJP leaders, including union ministers, former ministers and party MPs and MLAs, have been attacking Kumar on several issues without a miss daily for joining hands with the Mahagathbandhan including the RJD, Congress and Left parties. They have repeatedly been claiming that jungle raj has returned to Bihar after Kumar joined hands with RJD.
Ironically, in recent days, BJP leaders have been targeting Kumar, who was their ally until August 9, 2022, and blamed him for poor governance and poor law and order in the state.
The BJP, yet to overcome the big blow served by Kumar last year, announced to work on the 'Mission 2024' campaign for the next Lok Sabha polls.
The BJP's top leadership, including Modi and Shah, are reportedly worried about facing the next elections alone in Bihar because the party has been left with only one ally in Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Union Minister Pasupati Kumar Paras, which has no MLA in the state Assembly and is considered a spent force.
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.