Opposition meet scheduled for June 12 in Bihar put off
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Nayyar Azad
PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced on Monday that the Opposition meeting, which was originally scheduled to take place on June 12 in Patna, has been postponed. The reason behind the postponement seems to be the Congress’ reluctance to send its top leaders to the meeting. Nitish Kumar stated that he had urged the Congress to ensure the presence of their party head rather than sending a representative.
While confirming the postponement, Nitish Kumar mentioned that most political parties had confirmed their participation except for one or two. He emphasised the importance of party heads attending the meeting instead of representatives, as it would serve the purpose better and be more acceptable. Nitish Kumar expressed his willingness to wait for the political parties to collectively decide on a new date for the crucial Opposition meeting.
According to reports, the meeting is expected to be held by the end of June. It was initially decided by the Congress to send a representative instead of party president Mallikarjun Kharge or Rahul Gandhi. Similarly, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin also expressed his unwillingness to attend the meeting and intended to send his representative.
The Opposition meeting holds significance for shaping the future political landscape of the country, as emphasised by Nitish Kumar and other grand alliance leaders. Nitish Kumar has been actively coordinating with political parties to unite and contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections against the BJP.
Nitish Kumar, along with JD(U) Chief Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan Singh), had recently met with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (UTB) leader Uddhav Thackeray, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, and Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren to discuss the Opposition alliance.
The decision to host the Opposition meeting in Patna was proposed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a joint press conference in Kolkata with Nitish Kumar in April.
In addition to the discussion on the Opposition meeting, Nitish Kumar also commented on the Balasore train accident, which resulted in the loss of around 275 lives. He criticised the decision to eliminate the separate rail budget and expressed concerns about the government's approach to the railways. Nitish Kumar recalled his resignation as Railway Minister in 1999 following a major train accident in Gaisal, West Bengal.