Neither 'claimant nor desirous' for PM's post, but Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has taken seriously the responsibility of bringing all the non-BJP parties under the same umbrella for 2024. Having landed in the national capital on Monday, in about 24 hours, the Janata Dal-United leader has met his counterparts from Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM).
Nitish Kumar began this meeting spree, with Congress' Rahul Gandhi. Post the meeting, that took place at Gandhi's Tughlaq Road residence, images started doing the rounds of Rahul and Nitish together from the meet, which reportedly focussed on 'Misson 2024'.
On Tuesday morning, the JDU leader met the Secretary-General of the CPIM Sitaram Yechury in his Delhi office. Post the meeting with Nitish, Sitaram highlighted the objective put before him that 'all Indians would agree with'. "To make India truly free, democratic, unite and level all citizens, all secular, democratic parties and powers to come together," the tweet in Hindi read.
श्री @NitishKumar जी से अपने कार्यालय में मिल कर अच्छा लगा।— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) September 6, 2022
इन्होंने जो प्राथमिकता गिनाईं - उससे हम और सभी भारतीय देश-भक्त सहमत होंगे - भारत को आज़ाद, सही तौर पर लोकतांत्रिक, सभी नागरिकों को एक जुट और समान स्थान देने के लिए, धर्मनिरपेक्ष, लोकतांत्रिक दलों और शक्तियों को साथ लाना pic.twitter.com/F7m9etS9x3
The next on the list of Nitish was D Raja, the General Secretary of CPI, who he met at the party's headquarters in Ajoy Bhawan. On Twitter, Raja informed how they discussed the evolving political situation, and said, "An “India Model” of unity is emerging against the authoritarian misrule of the RSS-BJP."
Met Bihar CM Shri @NitishKumar at Ajoy Bhawan, CPI HQ in Delhi. We discussed the evolving political situation of the country.— D. Raja (@ComradeDRaja) September 6, 2022
An “India Model” of unity is emerging against the authoritarian misrule of the RSS-BJP. Also presented him a copy of my book on Marx & Ambedkar. pic.twitter.com/G9bsW7Mc0Q
Accompanied by JDU leader Sanjay Jha, Nitish next went to meet Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia at the Delhi Chief Minister's official residence. "Many serious topics related to the country were discussed - 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," Kejriwal wrote post the meeting.
मेरे घर पधारने के लिए नीतीश जी का बहुत-बहुत शुक्रिया। देश से संबंधित कई गंभीर विषयों पर चर्चा हुई - शिक्षा, स्वास्थ्य, ऑपरेशन लोटस, इन लोगों द्वारा खुले आम MLA की ख़रीद फ़रोख़्त करके जनता द्वारा चुनी सरकारों को गिराना, भाजपा सरकारों का बढ़ता निरंकुश भ्रष्टाचार, महंगाई, बेरोज़गारी pic.twitter.com/iKkz4IWmCd— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 6, 2022
However, SP's Akhilesh Yadav described Nitish's meeting with him and his ailing father as 'in the name of courtesy and well being', in sharp contrast to that of others.
आज दिल्ली में… एक मुलाक़ात शिष्टाचार और कुशल-क्षेम के नाम। pic.twitter.com/U4r2qjrg6Y— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) September 6, 2022
Besides, he has also met former Haryana chief minister and INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala, and former Karnataka CM and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy.
Pertinently, before the Bihar CM, his Telangana counterpart K Chandrashekhar Rao had already embarked on what his team called an 'India tour' to meet political leaders, and attend political events. In his visit to Bihar last week, KCR, also an aspirant for the PM post, had snubbed Nitish. When asked about who will the joint PM candidate for the opposition be, the TRS leader said, "It will be decided on the basis of consensus.''
Thereafter, Nitish Kumar got up to leave, saying 'They have been asking questions for over 50 minutes, what else are they left to ask'. Subsequently, in spite of the TRS leader's repeated insistence of 'baith jaiye', the JDU leader failed to comply. The next day, he announced that he would be going to Delhi.