Bihar Chief minister and Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday met Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi.
Stepping in the direction of opposition unity, Bihar Chief minister and Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday met Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi.
While speculations were rife about two Bihar satraps meeting Gandhi, the duo said that they discussed opposition unity with Congress’ interim chief.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Nitish Kumar said, “This is our thinking that the opposition parties should unite and they should work for the development of the country and even she agrees to it.”
“But Congress is going to have the election for the new party president. We will meet again after the election,” he added.
When inquired further, the Bihar Chief Minister said, “Everything was about unity only. And we will have more meetings after the elections in Congress are over.”
Lalu Prasad Yadav, former Railway Minister in the UPA government, said, “We have to remove the BJP to save the country. And every one of us has to unite as we have in Bihar. It has sent a massive response across the country.”
“And I apprised Sonia Gandhi that your party is the biggest. So, you call everyone, and we will have a discussion together so that we see them off (BJP) in the 2024 elections,” the RJD supremo said.
Yadav, who is also a former Bihar chief minister, said, “Sonia Gandhi said that Congress will be holding elections to the post of president. She will meet all of us after 10-12 days, along with the next Congress president. We will sit together and discuss everything together.”
“Congress has always opposed the BJP. The country is moving towards autocracy, and there is no solution to issues like unemployment and poverty. They (the BJP) are going after opposition leaders and imprisoning them.But we don’t fear them. We have discussed the same and will meet soon again,” the RJD leader said.
When asked if he had met Telangana Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in Patna recently and other leaders too, Kumar said, “Whoever we meet, we suggest to them we should unite and fight, but that will take some time. As of now, we are taking suggestions from all.”
When asked about Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in Bihar’s Purnia that the NDA will form government in 2024 and 2025 in the state, the Chief Minister said, “There is no need to value the statements made in Purnia by anyone. Don’t take them seriously.”
Incidentally, former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav, who was the railways minister in the Congress-led UPA I government, was meeting Sonia Gandhi after a gap of eight years at her residence.
While this was Lalu’s first meeting with the Congress interim president after the Mahagathbandhan came to power in Bihar in August this year, his son and Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav had met Sonia Gandhi in August this year after the government’s formation.
Nitish Kumar, on the other hand, had met Sonia Gandhi’s son and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi after the formation of the government in the state earlier this month. The JD-U leader, too, had met Sonia Gandhi six years ago at her residence.