Historic step: Congress after meeting Bihar satraps

Congress terms its meeting with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav a historic step towards bringing opposition parties together

NEW DELHI | Updated: 12 April, 2023 3:55 pm IST
Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge (left) and Rahul Gandhi (3rd R) met Bihar CM Nitish Kumar (2nd L) and Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav (3rd L)

In a bid to bring the opposition leaders together ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday, April 12, held a meeting with Bihar Chief minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy, Tejashwi Yadav.

Kharge later termed the meeting as a step towards bringing the opposition parties together and all of us will work in the same direction.

“Today we held discussions with Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav, along with their party leaders, to discuss opposition unity, among other things,” Kharge said after the meeting.

Kharge, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said, “We have decided to bring together the parties for the elections and will try to contest unitedly. We have decided to work on the same.”

“All of us present here will talk on the same lines of opposition unity and will go forward with a plan to bring the opposition together,” Kharge added.

Echoing the sentiments, Nitish Kumar said that they discussed bringing the opposition parties together.

“We have discussed how to bring most of the opposition parties together. It was decided in the meeting that we would sit down and discuss. And once most of the parties agree, we will decide on the next level of the plans,” the JD-U leader added.

Discussing opposition unity, Rahul Gandhi hit back at the central government and said, “As Kharge said, an historic step has been taken to bring the opposition parties together. This is an ongoing process.”

“There is an ideological fight going on in the country, an attack on the institutions and an attack on the country. We will stand together and go forward,” Rahul Gandhi added.

Last week, Kharge initiated the talks about opposition unity ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha election scheduled for next year.

He had spoken to Nitish Kumar, Tamil Nadu Chief minister MK Stalin and former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray over the phone.

In today’s meeting, Nitish Kumar was also present, along with his party chief Rajiv Ranjan aka Lalan Singh, RJD leader and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav and RJD leader Manoj Jha were also present.

Kharge has called several Opposition party leaders with the hope of papering over the cracks in opposition unity.

During the recently concluded Budget Session of Parliament, Congress cornered the ruling BJP over the Adani issue. The opposition parties have been demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Adani issue.

The opposition parties have also come together against the government over the misuse of the central agencies against the opposition parties.

In recent days, the Central agencies had carried out searches at the premises of several opposition leaders, including TMC, JMM, RJD, AAP, Congress and others.

In the last few years, the Central agencies have arrested former Union Finance minister P Chidambaram, Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar, AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, NCP leader Nawab Malik, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, TMC leaders Anubarta Mondal and Partha Chatterjee and several others.

The central agencies recently questioned former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi, his son and Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav, his daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti.

The agencies had also questioned BRS leader K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee.

The Congress, which faced humiliating results in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, is hopeful of a good showing in the 2024 polls against the backdrop of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the Adani issue.

The Grand Old Party has been treading carefully for opposition unity as several issues need to be discussed before the polls, including the Prime ministerial candidate.

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