Ankur Chatterjee: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, sharing dais with Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar today, took on the BJP, tweaking its slogan of “Congress-mukt Bharat”. “What we need now is BJP-mukt Bharat (BJP-free India),” said Mr Rao, who for years has been trying to form a non-Congress, non-BJP front.
That front has yet to take off, and Mr Kumar was expected to provide the necessary momentum.
However, Bihar’s Chief Minister stated today that they are thinking about the big picture. “Why the Third Front, when we’re working on the Main Front?” he said. “All opposition parties should come together and give the slogan BJP-mukt bharat,” Mr Rao remarked.
Mr Rao is the first significant opposition leader to see Mr Kumar since he split from the BJP. Before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Telangana Chief Minister met with a variety of opposition figures, including Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, and Chandrababu Naidu, to help establish the front.
However, opposition unity has been challenging to attain, whether with or without the Congress.
This time, Mr Kumar’s decision to leave the BJP has invigorated the opposition, with many expecting him to be the face of the opposition against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 general elections.
Earlier today, the two leaders launched a joint attack on the BJP while sharing the podium at a Patna gathering.
Mr Kumar slammed the “excessive prachaar-prasaar” (publicity) and the BJP-led Centre’s apparent insensitivity to state demands.
The BJP, still stinging from its split with Mr Kumar, has dismissed the meeting.
Mr Kumar’s former deputy Sushil Modi, who is now a Rajya Sabha member, described the meeting as a “gathering of two daydreamers who have no standing in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi” and termed it the “latest comic performance of opposition unity.”
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