Lalu Prasad, Nitish meet Sonia Gandhi; reiterate need for united front to defeat BJP in 2024

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Sunday, emphasising the pitch for bringing all Opposition parties together to defeat the BJP in 2024.

The meeting at Gandhi’s 10, Janpath residence is Kumar’s first with Gandhi since he severed ties with the BJP and allied with the RJD and Congress to form the government in Bihar in August.

Following the meeting, Kumar said, “We have to bring all Opposition parties together to defeat the BJP. The Congress is in the process of electing its new president and Sonia Gandhi told us we will meet again after the election.”

Voting to choose the Congress president will take place on October 17, while the counting of votes is scheduled to be held on October 19. Those in the race so far include Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.

Earlier in the day, Kumar called for uniting all opposition parties, including the Congress and the Left, to take on the BJP and said this “main front of opposition” will ensure that the saffron party loses badly in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

If all non-BJP parties unite, then they can get rid of those who are working to destroy the country, Kumar said at a rally organised by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana to mark former deputy prime minister Devi Lal’s birth anniversary.

INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala, Shiromani Akali Dal’s Sukhbir Singh Badal, both with a long history of fighting the Congress, were on the stage with other senior leaders such as NCP’s Sharad Pawar, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury and Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav was also on the stage in what was seen as a step towards unity among non-BJP parties. However, no one from the Congress attended the rally.

(With inputs from PTI)

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