Patna: A day after the Congress was routed in the three Hindi heartland states, senior JD (U) and RJD leaders have demanded that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar should be projected as prime ministerial face of the opposition alliance, ‘INDIA’.
Pitching for Nitish, senior JD (U) minister Madan Sahni said, “Nitish ji is a PM material. INDIA should nominate him as one.’’ Sahni, known for his proximity to Nitish, said that the latter could be the challenger to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 Lok Sabha election. He furher said that the defeat of Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh was of the grand old party only, asserting that results would have been different had allies of the INDIA contested these polls together.
“We still have an opportunity to contest the Lok Sabha election under the leadership of Nitish and stop the BJP`s juggernaut,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, senior JD (U) leader and state finance minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary has said that all constituents of INDIA should first contest the general election together and defeat the BJP; the issue of Prime Ministerial face could be decided afterwards. However, it is always better if a credible face is projected in the election, he added.
INDIA Came To Existence Due To Nitish Kumar's Initiative
He said that the INDIA alliance came into existence on the initiative of chief minister Nitish Kumar, adding that the first meeting of opposition parties was held in the state capital.
He said that it was decided that a common opposition candidate would be fielded against a BJP candidate in the 2024 election.
Chaudhary said that the Congress should be more accommodative in sharing political space with regional parties. He added that the Congress was the largest party in the INDIA alliance but it should also be respectful to smaller constituents. He said the results in the three states would have been different had Congress taken all allies on board. He said lessons need to be learnt from these results. It is the Congress which had suffered the biggest losses in the assembly elections, he added.
Another JD (U) minister Ashok Choudhary asserted that Nitish Kumar was an immensely credible face but it was the alliance partners’ prerogative to evolve a consensus on the issue.
On the other hand, senior RJD leader Shyam Rajak said that Nitish possessed all qualities to become the prime minister as people of Bihar wanted to see him in the top post.