Nitish Kumar meets Rahul Gandhi with Oppn unity mission in focustext_fields
New Delhi: On his mission to align the Opposition parties to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, senior JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday met former Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi. Nitish Kumar reached Gandhi's residence at 6.10 p.m. and only left at 7.08 p.m.
Sources said the discussion was entirely on 2024 and the means to unite the opposition, at the end of which Kumar again told reporters that he has no ambition for the top post.
"There is a concerted effort to weaken regional parties. My effort is to unite the Opposition ahead of the general elections. I have no intention of pitching myself as a prime ministerial candidate," Kumar told reporters.
But the buzz about his eye on the Prime Minister's post, which had started immediately after his breakup with the BJP, shows no sign of abating, despite Kumar's many protestations to the contrary.
While Kumar had said that he wishes to meet the leaders of his new Mahagathbandhan alliance in Delhi, he has also declared that the visit is meant to bring all the opposition leaders under one umbrella - a task seen as a significant challenge.
The list of people he wants to meet includes several disparate elements.
The key among them is Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Attempts to amalgamate him into the opposition coalition failed in 2019, with AAP's role in ending the UPA government at the Centre weighing heavily on Congress.
The other leader Kumar wants to meet is HD Kumaraswamy -- the chief of the Janata Dal-Secular, who ended the alliance with the Congress after their government in Karnataka fell through.
Kumar is also likely to meet Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, who was the prime mover in the efforts to unite the opposition in 2019; Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, another leader seen as upset with the Congress; and the leaders of the Left which is providing outside support to his government in Bihar.
According to sources in Kumar's Janata Dal-United, the Bihar Chief Minister is also scheduled to visit Maharashtra, Haryana, and Karnataka soon on his 'Mission Opposition'.