JD(U) chief Lalan Singh. (File Photo: Twitter)
New Delhi: JD(U) chief Lalan Singh excused himself from attending the conclusion of Rahul Gandhi- led Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir. In a letter to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Singh cited his prior engagements with a political programme in poll-bound Nagaland.
Though the Congress has invited heads of several non-BJP parties and rejuvenate the organisation in the run up to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, it is not clear how many of them turn up.
Singh wrote, "Much as I’d like to be present at the event, I express my inability to do so, as I need to be present at the launch of the party’s election campaign at Wokha, Nagaland the same day."
He also shared Kharge’s sentiments against the BJP, saying there are "no two opinions that there is decline in democratic values in the country and that the Constitutional institutions that are supposed to ensure checks and balances on unrestrained executive power are being systematically destroyed".
He also termed the concluding event of the yatra as "historic" and wished it success.
It is not clear whether Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's outfit will send another representative, or skip the event altogether. The development, however, comes at a time when there is tension within the state's ruling Mahagathbandhan. In August last year, Nitish Kumar snapped ties with the BJP and joined Mahagathbandhan, returning to an alliance he quit in July 2017 to join hands with the saffron party.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra started on September 7 last year in Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari. After travelling through a dozen states and covering more than 3,000 kms, the march entered Jammu and Kashmir on January 19. It will end on January 30 in Srinagar.