Nitish reprises role played by George Fernandes in forming NDA

By Ajay Kumar Patna, April 16 : After the successful meeting with opposition leaders in Delhi, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is turning out to be the biggest challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 Lok Sabha election. However, Nitish Kumar clarified that he is not a Prime Ministerial candidate of the opposition parties but he might play the role of UPA convener by following in the footsteps of his senior leader late George Fernandes. George Fernandes played a major role in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) formation in 1998. At that time the Congress was ruling at the Centre and the opposition parties were scattered. After the Mandal Commission report, a large number of regional parties emerged in the country. The BJP had then asked George Fernandes who was the chief of the Samata Party and Nitish Kumar was a member of it, to play the role of convener of the NDA and he had managed to unite 24 parties against the Congress. Due to that unity, George Fernandes became instrumental in the formation of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1999. The NDA government completed its tenure of 5 years. Now the way that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Arvind Kejriwal and Sitaram Yechuri said that Nitish Kumar is doing great work in uniting the opposition parties and they are with him, there is a hint of Kumar following in the footsteps of George Fernandes. "Nitish Kumar has made it clear he wants to unite more and more opposition parties of the country and he is achieving success. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's tweet "Ham Desh Ke Liye Sath Me Ladege" is the most important thing in the current political situation of the country. "Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also said publicly that whatever Nitish Kumar is doing in the country, he is with him. Left parties leaders also gave support to him. I don't know whether Nitish Kumar is following George Fernandes or not but he is heading in the right direction to unite the opposition parties," said Neeraj Kumar, JD-U MLC and chief spokesperson of the party. "Nitish Kumar on Friday said that the BJP has only two leaders who are acting like totalitarians. They have captured all constitutional institutions and are targeting their political opponents. They have done nothing in the interest of common people. Hence you vote for them, you will destroy yourselves and if you vote against them you will develop yourselves, state and the country. So, Nitish Kumar is clear in his mind to unite a large number of opposition parties of the country against the BJP," Kumar said. "The efforts of Nitish Kumar were appreciated by the leaders who met him recently but there is so much work to do. Bringing leaders like Mamata Banerjee and K Chandrashekar Rao on one platform with the Congress party will be a big achievement but it will take time. Once they sit together and finalize every aspect, followed by declaring the role of Nitish Kumar as convener, then we would say that all opposition parties agreed on one seat, one candidate formula," said Shivanand Tiwari, vice president of the RJD. "When we talk about West Bengal having 42 Lok Sabha seats, the Congress party is no way near to the TMC. In Telangana, there are 17 Lok Sabha seats and the Congress has won three seats while the TRS won nine seats. "So, the Congress has to drop some ego to minimize the division of votes. The same thing applies to the TRS and it will have to compromise with the Congress where the latter has sitting MPs. The key here is the opposition parties who would agree on one seat one candidate formula. This is the only way to defeat the BJP," Tiwari said. "Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is a desperate man and in a hurry. Nitish ji is daydreaming to become the Prime Minister but at the same time he should remember that his support base in Bihar has slipped. The political credibility of Nitish ji is based on the support and mercy of his grand alliance partners, especially the RJD. While Nitish is aspiring to realize his daydream, the RJD wants to use this opportunity to promote Tejashwi as the CM of Bihar," said Nikhil Anand, national general secretary of the BJP OBC wing. "There is no consensus in favour of Nitish ji and there are dozens of PM aspirants from different states. The opportunistic intention and motive of grand alliance parties, they will let down each other in course of time. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the undisputed leader of India and there is no one who can challenge him in 2024. The NDA will come back to power with more than 400 seats," Anand said. /IANS


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