Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addressed a mega rally held by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Fatehabad to commemorate the birth anniversary of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal on Sunday, saying that if all non-BJP parties band together, they can get rid of those who are working to destroy the country, “uniting all opposition parties, including the Congress and the Left, to take on the BJP will ensure that the saffron party loses badly in the 2024 general elections.”
He accused the BJP of attempting to foment “Hindu-Muslim strife” in society in order to gain political advantage. There is no real Hindu-Muslim conflict in society, he claims, adding that there are some troublemakers everywhere. He went on to say that many Muslims chose to stay in India after the partition in 1947.
Kumar suggested that an opposition front cannot be imagined without the Congress and the Left parties, and he urged leaders on the dais, including some with a long history of anti-Congress sentiment, to work for greater unity.
Kumar asserted that the main front of all opposition parties is required, not any third front, a reference to non-BJP and non-Congress parties.
“Then such a front will triumph handsomely,” he predicted. While leaving the rally, Kumar told reporters that he was not running for prime minister.
He claimed that no real work is being done at the Centre under the BJP government, accusing it of imposing its control over various institutions, including the media, in order to peddle a “one-sided” narrative.
With Home Minister Amit Shah recently claiming at a rally in Purnea that the BJP will win Bihar in the Lok Sabha elections in 2024 and the assembly elections in 2025, Kumar dismissed his claims without naming him. The Janata Dal (United) leader stated that seven parties are united in Bihar and that the BJP cannot win the elections.
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According to PTI, Bihar deputy chief minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, as well as Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant, attended the rally to demonstrate opposition unity. However, no members of the Congress party attended the rally.
INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala and Shiromani Akali Dal’s Sukhbir Singh Badal, both of whom have a long history of opposing the Congress, shared the stage with other senior leaders including the NCP’s Sharad Pawar, the CPI (M)’s Sitaram Yechury, and Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant. As the leaders urged all parties to work together to demolish the BJP, Badal said the INLD and SAD are true brothers and that the leaders present at the event can defend farmers’ rights.
“The farmers of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh sacrificed their lives, they struggled peacefully for a year, but they were booked in criminal cases,” Pawar said, referring to farmer suicides and last year’s farmers’ protests. Assurances were given that the cases would be withdrawn, but this has yet to happen. Farmers are now forced to appear in court on a regular basis, and we read every hour that some farmer somewhere has committed suicide,” reports news agency ANI.
(With Inputs From Agencies)