Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said a Bihar-style Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) of Opposition parties was needed at the national level to take on the BJP in the 2019 general elections.
Mr. Kumar also said the issue of illegal slaughterhouses had been raised unnecessarily to divert the attention of people from the main issues of the growing agricultural crisis and lack of employment generation in the country.
“A mahagathbandhan like this will be maha safal [grand success],” Mr. Kumar said addressing journalists on the sidelines of his weekly Lok Samvad programme here.
Mr. Kumar also added that being a bigger party, the Congress should take the initiative.
“I’ve been meeting and discussing for this with leaders of Left parties too,” the Bihar Chief Minister added.
When asked about the results of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Mr. Kumar said: “The BJP victory was mainly because there was no Bihar-like grand alliance… The vote percentage of Congress-SP alliance and the BSP together is 10% more than the votes polled by the BJP there,” he said.
He pointed out that out of five States which had gone to polls recently, the BJP won in two States whereas in Punjab, the Congress defeated them and in two other States — Manipur and Goa — the Congress has come out as the largest party.
“The results have always been good wherever there was unity of opposition,” said Mr Kumar, whose party JD(U) had suddenly backed out from the Uttar Pradesh elections after having campaigned there for six months.
On the ban on illegal slaughterhouses, Mr Kumar said, “Unnecessary controversy is being raised over it as there are very few illegal slaughterhouses in Bihar. There is a law here since 1955 prohibiting illegal slaughterhouses.”
“This issue has been raked up to the divert attention of people from other important issues like the growing crisis in agriculture sector and employment generation in the country,” the Chief Minister alleged.
Asked why there was no alliance between the Bihar coalition partners for the Delhi Civic polls (scheduled for April 23), Mr. Kumar said: “Municipal Corporation polls in Delhi is not an important election as it is a local poll and so it should not be seen as lack of unity among alliance parties.”