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 has been trying to formulate a non-Congress non-BJP front for several years.
That front is yet to take off and there was expectation that Mr Kumar might bring to it the necessary momentum. The Bihar Chief Minister, however, made it clear that they have the big picture in mind.
“Why Third Front, we are working on the main Front,” he said. “All opposition parties should come together and raise the slogan for a BJP-mukt Bharat… We will try to unite all Opposition parties in the country,” added Mr Rao, indicating that he was on board with the idea.
“You will see the results that we will bring together with like-minded parties and thrash out all the contentious issues,” he added.
Mr Rao, who reached Patna today, held an hour-long discussion with Nitish Kumar, where Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav was also present.
Mr Kumar’s move to ditch the BJP has brought cheer to the opposition camp, with many expecting that the eight-time Chief Minister might be the face of the Opposition against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 general elections.
The expectations gathered edge with BJP claims that Mr Kumar broke the alliance because of his ambition for the Prime Minister’s post.
But Mr Rao, who was the first key opposition leader to meet Mr Kumar after he broke away from the BJP, indicated that the top slot was not a given.
Nitish Kumar, he said, is a “well-known senior leader of the country”. The opposition, he added, will “choose the policy and leader with everyone’s consent”.
Earlier today, the two leaders launched a joint-attack on the BJP, sharing dais at a function in Patna.
Mr Kumar criticised the “excessive prachaar-prasaar” (publicity) and the BJP-led Centre’s alleged lack of sensitivity towards the needs of the states.
The BJP, still smarting from the break-up with Mr Kumar, has dismissed the get-together.
Mr Kumar’s former deputy Sushil Modi, who is now a member of the Rajya Sabha, said it is a “meeting of two daydreamers who have no standing in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi” and dubbed the meeting as the “latest comedy show of opposition unity”.