FOR MANY in Opposition, Nitish Kumar’s resolution to snap ties with the BJP was a coup — a payback in the identical coin to the ruling celebration which they are saying is out to “destabilise” non-BJP governments in states. But was Kumar merely making an attempt to avoid wasting his celebration, Janata Dal (United), from a cut up, or is there extra to his resignation than meets the attention?
With lower than two years for Lok Sabha elections in April-May 2024, Nitish Kumar rising as a consensus candidate of a reconfigured alliance of Opposition events to problem Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a chance many in Opposition are already discussing.
While leaders say it’s early to hyperlink the JD(U)-BJP cut up with the Opposition technique for 2024 — aside from the truth that the brand new RJD-JD(U)-Congress-Left alliance in Bihar generally is a formidable entrance towards the BJP — they reckon that Kumar’s shift to the Opposition camp can act as a catalyst for anti-BJP events. A socialist veteran of stature, Kumar is perceived to be non-corrupt with a confirmed governance observe report.
Kumar could also be acceptable to many within the Opposition who will not be snug with the Congress main the grouping. NCP chief Sharad Pawar is an appropriate face, however he’s previous his prime. The Congress too realises that. The grand outdated celebration additionally wants a reputable different on its facet to cope with outliers just like the Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party. Kumar had within the night thanked each Rahul and Sonia Gandhi for Congress’s help to the brand new gatbandhan.
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There is already a chat within the Congress that the Gandhis may take a tactical retreat from the management of the celebration. Sources mentioned Rahul Gandhi is just not eager to return as Congress president and he doesn’t need anybody from the household to go the celebration. So, is the grand outdated celebration prepared to simply accept a non-Congress chief as the top of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to revive the just about non-existent alliance? It looks like a logical conclusion if the Gandhi household does make means for a non-Gandhi as celebration president.
A terse assertion put out by the Congress on Tuesday — asserting its resolution to advance the beginning of the proposed Kanyakumari to Kashmir yatra to ?September 7 ?from October 2 — mentioned Congress staff and leaders together with Rahul Gandhi will “participate” within the yatra. It is just not clear whether or not Rahul will lead the yatra. Sources mentioned the phrase “participate” stemmed from a dialogue a number of the senior leaders had with Rahul earlier.
The celebration is getting ready to elect a brand new President to switch Sonia Gandhi ?between August 21 and September 20. Its resolution to advance the yatra therefore was shocking. Some senior Congress leaders mentioned it was “too premature” to speak about Kumar rising as a challenger to Modi in 2024 – though there are already talks of him handing over the Bihar baton to Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tejashwi Yadav inside a 12 months. If he switches to nationwide politics, the 71-year-old Kumar can enchantment to the Hindi heartland the place the opposition desperately wants a face and seats.
Some Congress leaders say the opposition has to win massive within the southern states and in Maharashtra to cease the BJP in its tracks in 2024. “Kumar will have no appeal in the south and Maharashtra. So I am not enthusiastic about this theory,” one Congress chief mentioned.
Another chief mentioned in politics momentum picks up regularly. “And we need to claw back in the North to stop the BJP. In the south, the DMK is on a strong wicket in Tamil Nadu. In Kerala, it doesn’t matter whether we win or the Left does. We have a fair chance of staging a comeback in Karnataka. In Telangana, the TRS also needs to be part of the national narrative to take on the BJP,” he mentioned.
As far as Bihar is anxious, the RJD, Congress and the Left frankly didn’t have a lot possibility however to again Kumar as soon as he informed them he had determined to finish his alliance with the BJP. Tejashwi Yadav was not eager to affix fingers with Kumar once more. But the political context has modified, a senior RJD chief mentioned. The narrative was that there was a fear that the BJP was making an attempt to engineer defections in JD(U), RJD and the Congress, much like what occurred with the Shiv Sena in experiment. “So there was not much of an option for us,” he mentioned.