By G Krishna Mohan Rao*
Patna: Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao( KCR) on Wednesday, August 31, 2022 air dashed to Patna and met his counterpart Nitish Kumar with a message of opposition unity to ensure “BJP Mukt Bharat”. Chief Minister Nitish received KCR at the airport and drove to the secretariat and both the leaders had a long meeting over lunch and discussed several issues plaguing the country and the way forward to tackle them. They focused on containing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls of 2024.
In political circles, the meeting of the Two Chief Ministers was seen as a significant one and gave hope for a ‘rag-tag ‘ coalition of the Opposition parties to take on the mighty BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The meeting also assumes significance, particularly when Nitish recently snapped ties with the BJP and formed the government with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and six other constituents, and is seen as the potential Prime Ministerial candidate to challenge the incumbent Modi. Added to this, Telangana Chief Minister KCR, for the last six months has been waging a political battle against the Modi regime with his slogan of “BJP Mukt Bharat”.
Sources said that during his day-long political mission to Patna, KCR made all possible efforts to unite the Opposition parties. Both of them came to the conclusion that it was high time to come together to successfully stop the BJP. Both the leaders conveyed to the media that it will not be called a united or federal front, but the ‘real’ front to throw the BJP out of power. Both the leaders felt that central institutions like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) were being misused as a political weapon to browbeat the Opposition. Nitish also talked about special category status to Bihar and alleged that despite repeated requests, the Centre was not granting the status.
KCR, besides Chief Minister Nitish, also met Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav. Tejashwi welcomed KCR and thanked him for visiting Bihar. Calling Nitish Kumar his “ big brother”, KCR said “ Lot of discussions have taken place today and we have made consensus on several issues. We have decided to throw BJP out of power as no work has been done in the past eight years. We will make all possible attempts to unite the opposition in the country with the slogan of “BJP Mukt Bharat”.
During the presser when asked about Nitish being the Prime Ministerial candidate to take on PM Modi in the coming elections, KCR refused to make any statement and said, “We will sit together and work on it to unite the Opposition. It is too early to comment on such a question. There is no hurry. Why should I name anyone, there are chances of people getting upset if I name any particular person.”
When asked about taking the Congress Party on board in the unity of the Opposition, he said, “ let us first sit together. Why do you people (media) create confrontations among the Opposition parties…… we are not talking about any third front, one must be clear. We are just making an effort to unite the opposition parties so that the BJP can be thrown out of power”. KCR slammed Prime Minister Modi and alleged that the present government at the Centre “wants to sell everything and the only slogan left now is “Becho India”.
KCR has been meeting several opposition party leaders for the last six months including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and also Tamil Nadu CM, M K Stalin in an effort to bring the non-BJP opposition under one platform. Besides, last week, KCR held a meeting of the National Farmers’ Union from 26 states in Hyderabad, in order to unite the farmers to fight against the Centre, for its anti-farmer policies.
Before he left for Hyderabad, KCR also met RJD supremo Laloo Prasad, his wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and Rajshri Yadav, wife of Tejashwi Yadav at their 10, Circular Road residence. Earlier, KCR handed over a Cheque of Rs 10 lakh each to the five family members who died in the Galwan valley and Rs 10 lakh each to the families who died in a fire accident in Hyderabad in March this year.