Unity talks pick up pace in Opposition camp

Earlier, Bihar CM Kumar had met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi as part of his initiative to forge an alliance of opposition parties.

Published: 13th April 2023 06:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2023 11:45 AM   |  A+A-


CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury addresses the media. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Efforts to solidify Opposition unity gathered pace on Thursday with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar calling on Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja while NCP founder Sharad Pawar met Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi. 

“We are glad Sharad Pawar came directly from Mumbai to give us guidance. Pawar is also of the opinion that we should all talk and come together to fight for the country. Yesterday all of us, including Nitish, Rahul and Tejashwi, decided to fight together to save democracy and freedom of speech in the country,” AICC President Kharge said after the meeting. 

Echoing Kharge, Pawar said, “Some political parties have different ideologies. But we will have to make efforts to bring them together. We haven’t yet spoken to important leaders like Mamata Banerjee. We have to speak to them also. We have to bring all of them together and take the unity process forward.” 

NCP founder Sharad Pawar with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi. (Photo | PTI)

After talks with Nitish, CPM general secretary Yechury said, “Dialogues with other parties are going on. The process has picked up pace.” He added that seat adjustments would be made at the state level. "For example, a strategy that works in Kerala where the Left is in direct contest with the Congress, would not be applicable elsewhere," he added.

"In Kerala, Congress and our party are arch rivals. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not in a fight there," he said.

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He further said that the third front that is going to be formed will always be after the elections. "But in India, fronts are formed post polls such as United Front in 1996, in 1998 NDA was formed after elections, UPA formed post polls in 2004," Yechury said.

Yechury ducked queries on the prime ministerial candidate, saying, “The united face of the Opposition will be discussed and decided at the right time”.

Bihar CM Kumar on Wednesday met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi as part of his initiative to forge an alliance of opposition parties.

Later, Yechury tweeted, "With Bihar CM Shri Nitish Kumar to carry forward the efforts to unite secular democratic parties to safeguard the Indian Republic, Constitution and democracy, severely assaulted by the BJP & Modi govt. Defeat the BJP in order to save India & people's livelihoods (sic)."

The Bihar CM also met CPI general secretary D Raja on Thursday. "Had a meeting with JD(U) leader & Bihar CM Shri Nitish Kumar to discuss broad issues of opposition unity against RSS-BJP. The country is in turmoil and all sections of society are vocal against BJP misrule. Unity of secular-democratic forces is must to protect our democracy and people," said Raja in a tweet after the meeting.

Nitish also met Hindustani Awam Morcha chief Jitan Ram Manjhi in Delhi. 

Dalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi also met with Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday, setting political circles abuzz. 

Manjhi, a former chief minister of Bihar, however, asserted that he has sworn to remain with Kumar and rejected any possibility of joining hands with the BJP, saying that it has spoken against the existence of small parties like his.

(With online desk inputs)


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