Will attend next meeting of INDIA bloc, confirms Nitish Kumar

Congress got good vote share in the recently concluded elections in five States, he says

December 06, 2023 09:24 pm | Updated December 07, 2023 12:53 am IST - Patna

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. File.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar on December 6 confirmed that he would attend the next meeting of the Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc, denying reports that he would skip it as the Congress performed badly in the Assembly elections.

When the election results of the five States were announced, Mr. Kumar had not made any statement, leading to speculation that all was not well within the INDIA bloc.

The next meeting of bloc is likely to be held in the third week of December on a date convenient to all. Earlier, the meeting was scheduled for December 6 but it got postponed after many key leaders, including Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee, were not able to attend due to short notice.

“The news was getting published that I will not attend the meeting. It’s nothing as such, I was not well because I had cold, cough and fever and I was taking rest. Whenever the next meeting of the INDIA bloc is held, I will attend it. I will be part of the alliance meeting and it is in the interest of the country,” Mr. Kumar said after paying floral tributes to Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar in Patna on his death anniversary.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar paying tributes to Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar on his death anniversary, in Patna on December 6, 2023. Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav is also present.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar paying tributes to Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar on his death anniversary, in Patna on December 6, 2023. Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav is also present. | Photo Credit: ANI

Before the elections, Mr. Kumar had blamed the Congress for the Opposition bloc INDIA losing steam, saying that the party seemed to be more interested in the Assembly polls in the five States.

‘Opposition should unite’

Asked about the performance of the Congress, Mr. Kumar said, “Last time, the Congress had won in those States and this time as well, the Congress got a good vote share. The Congress won in Telangana. I just want the Opposition to unite as soon as possible. Whenever the next meeting is held, I will again tell them not to delay. Sit together and finalise everything quickly. We have been engaged in Opposition’s unity for a year. In the State elections, all the political parties strive for their victory, that is a different thing, but I want that from now on, everyone should fight the elections unitedly.”

On the question of who would lead the INDIA bloc, Mr. Kumar said there were often reports projecting him as the prime ministerial candidate but he was not interested. 

 “I want to make it clear that I do not want anything, I don’t want any post. I only want the Opposition to unite and fight the elections against the party currently in power at the Centre. They are involved in changing the history of the country. The new generation should remember the freedom struggle. I don’t want anything personally. I have already been serving the people. All Opposition parties should unite in the interest of the country,” Mr. Kumar said.

He further talked about the caste-based survey held in Bihar and stressed that there was poverty in every caste. Mr. Kumar reiterated that if caste census can be conducted in the entire country, everyone will be benefited.

Mr. Kumar once again pointed out that Bihar’s growth will be accelerated if it gets special category status. 

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