PATNA: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar
and RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav will meet Congress leader Sonia Gandhi
in Delhi on September 25 in an effort to unite the opposition parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Sources in the Bihar Mahagathbandhan said Nitish and Lalu would reach Delhi separately on September 25 and meet Sonia in the evening. The meeting has been scheduled around 6 pm, a senior Mahagathbandhan leader said.
Sources in the state government said Nitish would meet Sonia after attending the Indian National Lok Dal’s (INLD) rally at Fatehabad in Haryana on the same day. Bihar Deputy CM and Lalu’s son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav will accompany Nitish from Patna to attend the INLD rally which is being considered as the primary step in the direction of forging unity among the opposition parties against the BJP.
“Nitish, Tejashwi and a few other ministers will reach Sirsa in Haryana through a special place around 2pm on September 25. From Sirsa, they will go to Fatehabad, the place of INLD’s rally, by road. After addressing the rally, Nitish will reach Delhi by 5 pm. In Delhi, he and Lalu will get together to meet Sonia Gandhi,” a close aide of the CM, who did not want to be identified, told TOI over phone on Thursday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Lalu had said he, along with Nitish Kumar, will meet Sonia in Delhi. “I will also meet Rahul Gandhi
after the completion of his padyatra.”
“Besides Nitish and Tejashwi, senior opposition leaders like NCP’s Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray and DMK’s Kanimozhi, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury have also given their consent to attend the rally which is being organised to mark the birth anniversary of former deputy prime minister and INLD founder Devi Lal,” JD(U) national secretary general KC Tyagi told
The sharing of dais by so many regional leaders is being considered an effort towards opposition unity.
Senior INLD leader and former Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala has also sent invitations to several other regional satraps, including West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Telangana’s K Chandrasekhar Rao and TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu, for attending the meeting. But they are yet to confirm their presence. The Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has also been invited, Tyagi said.