Opposition unity key to national interest, says Nitish Kumar

The Bihar CM is determined to unite all parties, even political opponents such as AAP and Congress together

September 07, 2022 07:45 pm | Updated 08:00 pm IST - New Delhi:

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar leaves after meeting Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar at the latter’s residence in New Delhi on September 7, 2022.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar leaves after meeting Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar at the latter’s residence in New Delhi on September 7, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Opposition unity against the BJP is in the national interest, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on September 7 after meeting NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar and indicated that he will return to Delhi to take this dialogue forward to unite all parties — even political opponents such as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress together.

Speaking to reporters after his meeting, Mr. Kumar said, “If the Opposition fights together, then the country will finally see ‘vikas’ (development). The BJP is not doing anything, all that they are interested is to grab the country.”

The Bihar Chief Minister again reiterated that he was not talking about Opposition unity for his own interest. My only interest, he said, was to bring the Opposition parties together. He said the talks for bringing the opposition parties united would continue. On the prime ministerial candidate, he said the parties would sit together and decide, if need be. He counted himself out of this race.

Role of Congress

Mr. Kumar fielded questions on the Congress’s role in such an opposition bloc and if his efforts would bring the AAP and the Congress, who had kept distance from each other, under one umbrella.

“I am making every effort and if what I hope for happens and all the parties come together then the outcome of Lok Sabha elections 2024 will be in national interest,” he added.

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He said the dialogue would continue and if need be, Mr. Kumar said, the opposition parties would sit together to chart out the course for the next general elections. He said he would return to Delhi to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who is abroad. The response from the opposition leaders whom he met over the past few days was positive, Mr. Kumar stated.

Earlier in the day, the Bihar Chief Minister met Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. The meeting, Mr. Kumar, said, was on how to run the government and ensure development of the State with consensus. The CPI(ML) released a statement after the meeting saying that both leaders discussed on the strategy to stop the BJP’s ‘bulldozer raj‘ in the country. 

Mr. Bhattacharya said, “We want that what happened in Bihar should happen on a national level. In Bihar, the BJP was left alone and other parties came together. This Bihar model should be repeated across the nation. Nitish ji is working hard and hard work will bear fruit.”

Meets President

Mr. Kumar also met President Droupadi Murmu later in the evening. Since he arrived in Delhi on Monday, Mr. Kumar had met former Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. He also met Indian National Lok Dal leader Om Prakash Chautala.

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