Opposition Unity: Congress Insistence on Being Centre of Alliance is the Speed-breaker


NEW DELHI — Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was in the national capital this week, met scores of political leaders including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, CPI-M Secretary General Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The purpose of Nitish Kumar’s visit was the talk of opposition unity and he plans to meet Sonia Gandhi when she returns from abroad. Before arriving in New Delhi, Kumar had met RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav and TRS Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Nitish officially denied any prime ministerial ambition but the political commentators feel that the target is the PM’s chair. However the biggest obstacle is the Congress which is maintaining that being the biggest political formation it should be the fulcrum of any alliance.

Sources say in the Congress that the Nitish Kumar situation is evolving and we are watching how it unfolds in the future.

Rahul Gandhi on Friday addressing a press conference in Nagercoil said that “opposition unity is a good thing” and it’s the responsibility of other opposition parties to fight the BJP. Nitish Kumar had a nearly one-hour meeting with Rahul Gandhi on the issue.

Kumar said that he “was not a claimant for the Prime Minister’s post and had no desire for it.”

In the meeting with the Left parties he said: “We have discussed that if all the parties, including the Left parties, regional parties in the states, and Congress come together, then it will be a big political formation.”

Yechury said that this was a positive sign and a good political development in the country.

Kumar is in Delhi to unify the Opposition ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. He met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who thanked Nitish. The bonhomie is brewing with many central agencies chasing AAP leaders.

“Many thanks to Nitish ji for visiting my house. Many serious issues of the country including education, health, Operation Lotus, openly buying MLAs by these people and bringing down the governments elected by the people, increasing autocratic corruption of BJP governments, inflation, unemployment were discussed”, tweeted CM Kejriwal.

Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have Congress governments and they respectively have 25 and 11 Lok Sabha seats while in the Lok Sabha the Congress has about 53 MPs. There are many states where the Congress has zero seats including Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Delhi, Himachal.

The opposition ruled states and their statistics may hold the key to the Lok Sabha election 2024 as West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha seats and the Mamata Banerjee led TMC is in power. In Jharkhand, the JMM led by Hemant Soren is in power and the state has 14 seats. Kerala has 20 Lok Sabha seats and the Left is ruling the state. In Telangana, KCR is ruling and it has 17 seats.

The DMK led by MK Stalin is having its government in Tamil Nadu and it has 39 Lok Sabha seats, in Punjab the AAP is in power and it has 13 seats.

Besides these, Maharashtra is another state where NCP leader Sharad Powar has considerable influence. Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats.

After the Maharashtra government changed, the BJP has the upper hand in the Lok Sabha election.

The BJP won 303 seats in 2019 and formed the government at the Centre. The BJP won 17 seats in Bihar, 16 seats in West Bengal and 11 seats in Jharkhand in 2019. — IANS


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