New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad will visit Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the nation’s capital on Sunday in an effort to unify the whole opposition to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. It is important to note that this will be the first time in more than five years that the three parties have met.
Both politicians are slated to attend a rally that will be held in the Fatehabad area on the anniversary of the birth of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) founder late Chaudhary Devi Lal. The gathering will be organised by INLD leader OP Chautala.
Upon his arrival in Delhi, Lalu had earlier on Saturday stated that he and Nitish Kumar will meet Sonia in Delhi.
“Nitish Kumar and I will meet Sonia Gandhi. We are making all efforts to unite the opposition,” Lalu Yadav said, as quoted by news agency ANI.
Previously, he had said: “Everyone needs to be alert, BJP needs to be uprooted in 2024.” Lalu Yadav revealed he will also meet Rahul Gandhi after the completion of the Bharat Jogo padayatra.
Prashant Kishor, a poll strategist, disagreed, stating that seeing party leaders “would not make much of a difference” and that a “credible face” and widespread movement are needed to win the public’s support in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Such gatherings, he argued, cannot be viewed as promoting political progress or opposition unity. He said, “Those who don’t believe this need to wait and watch. It will certainly happen. I won’t comment on whatever someone says”.
During his most recent trip to Delhi, Nitish Kumar spoke with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav, and Akhilesh Yadav. He also spoke with Sitaram Yechury, the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
After breaking his alliance with the BJP and joining forces with Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, Kumar met with the Congress, and other parties to create a “Mahagathbandhan” government in Bihar. In an effort to bring the opposition together, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao previously visited Bihar and spoke with Nitish Kumar and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. In the meantime, Patna this month saw several posters of Nitish Kumar portraying him as a contender for the prime minister’s post in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
The JD(U) posted posters with the motto “Pradesh mein dikha, desh mein dikhega,” which promised good governance. Another poster has the text “Jumla Nahi Haqiqat Hai,” (No lies only reality) while taking a dig at BJP.
Tejashwi Yadav has also previously said that Kumar may be a “strong candidate” for the position of Prime Minister in the 2024 elections. In 2020, Nitish Kumar was appointed Chief Minister after the BJP and JD(U) formed an electoral coalition and won the elections. In less than two years, Nitish Kumar changed his mind and unexpectedly forged an alliance with the RJD and the Congress to establish a “Grand Alliance” government in Bihar.
(With inputs from ANI)