Will fight as I.N.D.I.A. in Bihar, Mamata still an ally: Rahul Gandhi

| Updated: 06 February, 2024 8:28 pm IST

NEW DELHI: On Tuesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stepped up to reassure the INDIA bloc of their unity amid turbulent times. During a press conference amid his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Jharkhand, Gandhi made it clear that the INDIA alliance remains intact, despite the departure of Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JDU) to the BJP camp.

“Of course, Nitish Kumar has left the I.N.D.I.A. alliance and he has gone to the BJP. You can guess what the reasons are for him leaving. It’s fine, we’ll fight in Bihar as the INDIA alliance. So, I don’t agree that lots of our partners are not part of the alliance,” he said.

He also cited Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee’s continued involvement in the opposition grouping. Despite Banerjee’s earlier assertions of going solo against the BJP in West Bengal, Gandhi maintained that she is ‘very much’ a part of the alliance, brushing off speculations of discord.

Gandhi affirmed, “If you look at Mamata ji’s statements, she is very much part of the INDIA alliance.”

However, the road ahead is not without its challenges. Banerjee’s strained relationship with the Congress and the Left parties, particularly the bitter rivalry with the CPM, poses a potential obstacle to seamless cooperation within the alliance.

In Bihar, the opposition bloc suffered a significant setback with Nitish Kumar’s defection to the BJP-led NDA. Nevertheless, the alliance, comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress, and Left parties, remains determined to secure a substantial number of seats in the crucial state which gives 40 seats in Lok Sabha.

The situation is equally uncertain in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, where alliances are on shaky ground. The Aam Aadmi Party’s decision to contest all 13 seats alone in Punjab adds complexity to the opposition’s strategy. In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party’s wavering stance on seat-sharing with the Congress further complicates matters.

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