As Nitish Kumar and Congress intensify unity moves, Modi calls them “corrupt”


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar exchanges greetings with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, at Nabanna in Howrah on Monday. Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav is also seen (ANI)

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar once again retorted that he is having talks with several people for uniting Opposition forces against the BJP-led government at the Centre for Lok Sabha polls in 2024

Our Bureau
Guwahati/New Delhi

In a bid to put up a combined challenge against the BJP at the Centre in next year’s Lok Sabha elections, a meeting of 11 political parties, spearheaded by the Congress’s Assam unit, was held in Guwahati on Thursday. Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC), which hosted the meeting in Guwahati, urged all like-minded Opposition forces to set aside their differences and close ranks in the interest of the broader goal of unseating the BJP from power in the 2024 general elections.

Interestingly, however, the All-India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) led by perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal, was not invited to the meeting.

Senior Congress leaders as well as representatives of 10 other Opposition parties were present in the meeting. According to sources, the discussions centered around strategies to defeat the BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls.

AICC general secretary Jitendra Singh and Assam Congress president Bhupen Kumar Borah were also present at the meeting.

“A total of 11 political parties were represented at the meeting. Apart from the Congress, the other political parties were the JD(U), NCP, Raijor Dal, RJD, TMC, Assam Jatiya Parishad, CPI, CPI (M), CPI (ML), and Jatiya Dal Assam. Several issues were discussed in the meeting and few decisions were taken as well,” the Assam Congress president said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar once again retorted that he is having talks with several people while it is underway with some other leaders of like-minded parties for uniting Opposition forces against the BJP-led government at the Centre for Lok Sabha polls in 2024.

“I have told you earlier that we held talks with several people and talks are yet to be done with some others. After that, it will be decided what needs to be done. For now, elections are underway and many of the parties are busy with that once it gets over after that discussion will take place. Some are saying (to hold opposition meeting) in Patna but it will be decided after talking with everyone,” said Bihar CM while interacting with reporters on Saturday. Earlier, Kumar reached Lucknow to meet Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on April 24. That time Samajwadi Party’s National General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav and Shivpal Singh Yadav also remained present in the meeting.

Later, Kumar left for West Bengal to meet his counterpart Mamata Banerjee at her office in the State secretariat ‘Nabanna’ in Kolkata. Earlier on April 12, Nitish Kumar had met with Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge and former MP Rahul Gandhi in the national capital.

The efforts are seen as the major step to laying the groundwork for a grand Opposition alliance ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at the Opposition parties, and said no matter how big an alliance the “corrupt people” make, his fight against corruption and nepotism will continue.

The Prime Minister was addressing the Republic Summit at Hotel at Taj Palace here in the national capital on Wednesday. PM Modi said that government procurement was a big source of corruption in the country. Now the GeM portal has transformed it. Faceless taxation and GST have blocked corrupt practices.

“When such honesty prevails, it is natural for the corrupt to feel discomfort and they plan to destroy the honest system. This would have perhaps succeeded if it was against Modi alone, but they know that they are facing common citizens. No matter how big an alliance these corrupt people cobble, the attack on corruption will continue,” said the Prime Minister.

Recalling his participation in the Republic Summit in 2019 with the theme ‘India’s Moment’, the Prime Minister said that it had the background of the people’s mandate when the citizens had elected a government with an overwhelming majority and stability for the second time in a row.

“The country realized that India’s moment is now here”, the Prime Minister said.

Throwing light on this year’s theme ‘Time of Transformation’, the Prime Minister said that citizens can now witness the transformation on the ground which was envisioned 4 years earlier.

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