'One front for all opposition parties is need of the hour'

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar , who is also the leader of the JD(U). Photo: PTI

Fatehabad (Haryana): Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday called for uniting all opposition parties, including the Congress and the Left, to take on the BJP and said this "main front of opposition" will ensure that the saffron party loses badly in the 2024 general elections.

If all non-BJP parties unite, then they can get rid of those who are working to destroy the country, Kumar said at a mega rally organised by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) here to mark former deputy prime minister Devi Lal's birth anniversary.

He accused the BJP of trying to create "Hindu-Muslim disturbances" in society to benefit politically.

There is no real Hindu-Muslim conflict in society, he said, adding that some mischief-makers are there everywhere. A large number of Muslims chose to remain in India after the Partition in 1947, he added.

Kumar suggested that an opposition front cannot be envisaged without the Congress and the Left parties, and urged leaders on the dais, including some with a strong anti-Congress history, to work for a larger unity.

INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala, Shiromani Akali Dal's Sukhbir Singh Badal, both with a long history of fighting the Congress, were on the stage with other senior leaders such as NCP's Sharad Pawar, CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury and Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav was also on the stage in what was seen as a step towards unity among non-BJP parties.

However, no one from the Congress attended the rally.

Kumar asserted that the need of the hour is a main front of all opposition parties and not any third front, a reference to non-BJP and non-Congress parties.

"Then such a front will win handsomely," he said.

While leaving the rally venue, Kumar told reporters he was not a contender for the prime minister's post.

No real work is happening under the BJP government at the Centre, he alleged, accusing it of imposing its control over different institutions, including the media, to peddle a "one-sided" narrative.

With Home Minister Amit Shah asserting at his rally in Purnea recently that the BJP will win Bihar during the Lok Sabha polls in 2024 and then in the assembly polls in 2025, Kumar dismissed his claims without naming him.

Seven parties are together in Bihar and the BJP is all alone, the Janata Dal (United) leader said, adding that the BJP can't win in the elections.

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