Patna: The Janata Dal (United) has dismissed speculation that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is upset after attending a two-day convention of 26 “progressive parties” in Bengaluru, where he is said to have initially rejected the proposed name of the alliance. Objection was expressed about – ‘Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance’ or ‘INDIA’.
The absence of Nitish from the post-meeting press conference on Tuesday and attended by most of the opposition leaders from the group fueled speculation that the eight-time chief minister was upset.
Speaking at a meeting of government officials in Rajgir on Wednesday, when Nitish was asked why he left early, he said,Everything was discussed and agreed upon. And so I left.”
Meanwhile, JD(U) national president Rajeev Ranjan (Lalan) Singh, when asked by reporters on Wednesday whether Nitish was upset, said, “Why would he be upset? Nitish Kumar is Sutradhar (Facilitator) Opposition unity. The foundation he laid in Patna (by hosting the first meeting of opposition parties on June 23) was strengthened in Bengaluru.”
“I have been in the NDA (BJP-led National Democratic Alliance) for five years. BJP never held a meeting. Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been forced to hold a meeting of the NDA, inviting even smaller parties from the Northeast,” Singh said.
JD(U) sources, on the other hand, claimed that Nitish, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav could not attend the press conference addressed by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge due to air traffic arrangements.
“There is heavy air traffic in Bengaluru and eight chartered planes (were scheduled to take off) because of the meeting,” a senior JDU leader told ThePrint on condition of anonymity. He said airport officials had advised Nitish to reach the airport. 4 pm otherwise their chartered flight will take off only after 9.30 pm that day.
The leader said the initial understanding was that Kharge would be the only opposition leader to address the press conference. “Later it was decided that all the leaders present would address the press. Till then Nitish Yes And the rest had gone. Even in the meeting held in Patna on June 23, leaders like Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal could not attend the press conference due to air traffic issues,” the leader said.
JDU sources also told ThePrint that the name Nitish Kumar had decided for the alliance – ‘Bharat’ – was not acceptable to him.
“Nitish Yes Wanted a name that would be popular in the Hindi heartland as the opposition was strong in South India and the BJP was defeated in the North. He said that India looks a lot like NDA. But MK Stalin and Mamta Banerjee approved and Nitish Yes Gone together,” said the JD(U) leader quoted earlier.
He said that when leaders from different backgrounds come together, it is natural for differences to arise.
“Kejriwal did not approve the caste census but went along with others to pass a unanimous resolution on the issue. Compromises have to be made. Nitish did the same Yes,” They said.
Another factor that fueled speculation that Nitish was upset was that before the meeting in Bengaluru, several JDU leaders had expressed optimism about him being appointed the convenor of the alliance. However, the decision in this regard was postponed and will now be taken in the next meeting of ‘India’ to be held in Mumbai.
JD(U) sources also said that the appointment of the coordinator is necessary to further Nitish’s national ambitions and pave the way for Tejashwi to become the chief minister.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took the opportunity to target Nitish, with its Bihar unit chief Samrat Chowdhary taking a jibe at the JD(U) chief, saying, “Nitish had gone to Bengaluru expecting the post of (coalition’s) convenor. He was neglected and insulted. He ran away and came back to Patna.”
BJP Rajya Sabha MP and former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi told ThePrint, “It seems that the Congress has hijacked Nitish Kumar’s agenda and is reluctant to give him (the post of coordinator). The fact that posters against Nitish were allowed to be put up in a Congress-ruled state was humiliating for him.
The remark was a reference to posters that came up in Bengaluru on Monday, describing Nitish as an “unstable prime ministerial candidate”.
Opposition to Nitish’s leadership in Bihar Mahagathbandhan (Mahagathbandhan) is taking shape ahead of the general elections next year, with both factions of Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) now part of the BJP. Are. led the NDA.
Sources in the Bihar BJP said that Mukesh Sahni’s Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) is the only NDA ally in the state which is not agreeing to the terms agreed upon by the others due to its demand for a disproportionate number of seats. However, he also said that it was “It’s only a matter of time before he falls in line”.
(Editing by Amritansh Arora)