NDA will suffer with entry of Nitish Kumar, INDIA will emerge stronger: Opposition leaders


Bengaluru, July 18 (ANI): Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader TR Baalu during the second day of the joint Opposition meeting, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (ANI Photo/Shrikant Singh)

NEW DELHI: Leaders of the INDIA bloc on Monday asserted that JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar’s exit will not affect the opposition alliance, with many questioning his political capital with the refrain that ‘Nitish does not mean Bihar’ and some even casting doubts on his health.

”One person quitting ‘Mahagathbandhan’ will not weaken us. We will defeat the BJP,” Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said in Odisha.

The Bihar chief minister was considered a prime architect of opposition unity but the INDIA parties were putting up a brave face on Monday saying the BJP-led NDA will lose credibility and suffer electorally by aligning with a leader like Kumar who is frequently changing sides.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Kumar did not do the right thing by exiting the INDIA bloc.

”I feel that he should not have left. He has done wrong. Such conduct is not good for democracy. My understanding is that this (his exit) will cause losses for NDA in Bihar, instead of benefitting them. INDIA bloc will benefit,” the AAP chief said.

There were more barbs hurled at the Bihar chief minister with Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut calling Kumar ”Paltu Ram” and asking how many times will he indulge in ”volte-face”.

”He should go to a circus. The circus will have acche din (good days). He should form a Paltu Ram circus and make the BJP its ringmaster,” he said.

Raut said, ”Nitish does not mean Bihar”, and asked, ”Will people of that state like it if a person takes oath (as CM) multiple times in one tenure”.

He claimed the Congress was in favour of appointing Kumar as the convener of the opposition bloc.

”But if someone thinks that the exit of Nitish Kumar will create a rift in the national (INDIA) alliance, then it is not correct. Infact, the organisation gets tougher if such people leave, and the INDIA bloc will also become stronger,” the Rajya Sabha member said.

He said the RJD and the Congress and other parties will help make the INDIA bloc stronger.

Terming Nitish Kumar as a ”mentally and politically” anxious person, Raut claimed the Bihar CM’s health was not good and that a person close to him said he was suffering from ”partial memory loss”.

”He might have forgotten that he was in the INDIA alliance. When he gains his memory, he will come to know that he is in the other fold and will come back. This is called Alzheimer’s (disease),” he said.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) leader also claimed that Kumar and the BJP have lost credibility in Bihar.

However, BJP ally and Republican Party of India (A) chief Ramdas Athawale said Kumar’s decision to join the NDA has been taken at the right time for the development of Bihar.

”Nitish Kumar’s decision is correct and he has taken it at the right time for the development of Bihar. This is a challenge to the Congress,” he said.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh claimed the JD(U) supremo’s exit will have ”absolutely no impact” on the opposition bloc INDIA.

The Congress leader also posted on X a widely shared meme on Kumar’s frequent volte-face in the last few years, which said that the governor expressed surprise when Kumar went back to take his scarf he had left at the Raj Bhawan within 15 minutes of his oath-taking for the ninth time.

”After taking oath, Nitish Kumar ji forgot his ‘muffler’ (scarf) in Raj Bhawan.

”When he came back halfway to pick up, the Governor was shocked that this time not even 15 minutes had passed,” Ramesh said in a post in Hindi on X.

In another post in Hindi, he said, ”Even chameleon had to search for a new colour as these ‘warriors’ change so many colours every day.” Interacting with reporters in Kishanganj during the Congress’ ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ which entered Bihar on Monday, Ramesh mocked Kumar, calling him ‘Aaya Kumar, Gaya Kumar’.

”It will not have any impact on the INDIA alliance… absolutely no impact.” The Congress leader also alleged that ”Kumar’s betrayal” was ”masterminded by the prime minister”.

”Nitish Kumar gives a tough competition to a chameleon,” he later said.

The Congress leader said Kumar participated in three meetings of the INDIA bloc but gave no indication that he was going to ”betray” the opposition.

”He (Kumar) has betrayed us. At the right time, people of Bihar will give a befitting response to him and the one who makes him dance to his tunes, the prime minister,” Ramesh said.

Another Congress leader Digvijaya Singh claimed that ”opportunism” for power was at its peak.

”All are opportunists, whether it is (Prime Minister) Modi ji, (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah ji or Nitish ji. They have nothing to do with religious or political ideology but only care about ”getting the chair”, the Rajya Sabha member claimed.

BJP leader and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya targeted former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and claimed that it was ”game over” for the opposition alliance.

”The ‘INDI alliance’ (INDIA bloc) will not be able to stop the Modi government from coming to power for the third time,” he said.


Source: Press Trust of India

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