Updated January 26th, 2024 at 13:36 IST
It's controversial/ INDI on Brink: After Mamata And AAP, Will Nitish Walk Out?
Nitish has decided to skip the Rahul Gandhi-led 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' in Patna. Here's why
Lok Sabha Elections 2024: A day after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) decided to go solo in Lok Sabha Elections 2024, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has given another jolt to the INDI bloc. If reports are to be believed, Nitish has decided to skip the Rahul Gandhi-led 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' in Patna as he has planned some programmes for Jan 30. For the unversed, Rahul's 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' will enter Bihar on January 29 and cover four districts in three days during which top INDIA bloc leaders may join him for public meetings.
Earlier while speaking to reporters, at Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters, senior leader and MLC Prem Chandra Mishra had said that invites have been sent to alliance partners like Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Kumar apparantly had agreed to come. "In the event of his getting caught up elsewhere, the JD(U) president has assured that a senior leader will be sent to represent his party," Mishra had said.
An invitation was also extended to RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, a staunch ally of the Congress, "who may attend the rally in Purnea, or at Katihar scheduled on January 31, as per his availability because of an ED summons", Mishra added. Other alliance partners like state leaders of CPI and CPI(M), besides CPI(ML) Liberation general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya “have also been invited and they have agreed to lend their support to the Yatra”, said Bihar Congress Chief.
INDI on Brink?
By choosing not to walk with Gandhi, the Janata Dal (United), an ally of Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar, has hinted at internal tensions within INDI. Kumar's decision, coupled with allegations of criticising RJD chief Lalu Yadav for 'dynastic politics,' intensifies speculations of turmoil within the INDIA bloc, a sentiment contradicted by JD(U) leader KC Tyagi.
"Nitish Kumar was addressing a programme organised on the birth anniversary of Karpoori Thakur, whom he has idolised. Like all great socialists, Thakur abhorred dynastic succession in politics. This was the simple fact Nitish Kumar wanted to underscore. Nothing more should be read into it," Tyagi said.
"Nitish Kumar has no wish to condemn any regional party or leader," Mr Tyagi said. "Those who think a dynasty is essential for the nation, are free to draw their own conclusion," he added.
TMC, AAP Snub INDI
Earlier on Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and his Bengal counterpart announced that their parties won't enter into an alliance with the Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Asked about the AAP's alliance with the Congress for the Chandigarh mayoral poll and the chief minister saying that his party will win 13 seats in Punjab, Bhagwant Mann said, "Then you can make it 14," indicating that the AAP could also contest the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat.
When questioned if it was clear that the AAP will not have an electoral alliance with the Congress in Punjab, Mann said, "We are not going with them (Congress)." He further said discussions have already taken place on the AAP's likely candidates and volunteers for Punjab's 13 Lok Sabha seats and the names of 40 probables have come up.
"Three names came up from each constituency. There were four names from some constituencies and there is one name in Jalandhar (where the AAP's Sushil Kumar Rinku is the MP). We have put up 40 names and will conduct surveys. We have kept winnabilty as the criterion (for fielding a candidate)," he told reporters after chairing a Cabinet meeting.
Mann and several AAP leaders have been opposing any truck with the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls.
Similarly, Mamata announced that her party has decided to go alone in the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. "I had given them (Congress) a proposal (on seat-sharing), but they refused it at the outset. Our party has now decided to go alone in Bengal," Banerjee said amid the seat-negotiation tussle between the Congress and the TMC.
The surprise announcement of the TMC's decision to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls independently, a day before Rahul Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' entered Bengal, caught the grand old party off guard, prompting them to state, "no one can imagine the existence of the opposition INDIA bloc without West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee." The TMC boss also denied media reports of seat-sharing talks, and asserted that she has not spoken to anyone in the Congress on the issue.
Published January 25th, 2024 at 13:33 IST