Home / Politics / News /  Nitish Kumar calls out for a united Opposition for a different picture in 2024

In a dramatic turn of events, five of the six Janata Dal-United (JD(U)) MLAs in Manipur merged with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday. On Saturday, Chief Minister of Bihar and JD(U) stalwart Nitish Kumar who recently broke ties with the saffron party spoke out on this setback and said that the picture will be different in 2024 if the Opposition parties unite.

Coming out of the JD(U) state executive meet, Nitish Kumar recollected the series of events. He said, “All the six Manipur JD(U) MLAs were scheduled to come for the meet and were ready till a couple of days ago, but suddenly the merger with the BJP happened." JD(U)'s national executive meeting is scheduled for the evening on Saturday.

Nitish Kumar lashed out raising questions on the conduct of BJP, “Is it the Constitutional way? They had all come to Bihar a few months ago. People are watching the behaviour of the BJP. What kind of an approach is this?" he said. "This means they don’t want any Opposition."

JD(U)'s fall in Imphal

Five of the six JD(U) MLAs in Manipur joined the ruling BJP on Friday. Mohammad Nasir, MLA from Lilong seat, is the only MLA left in the JD(U), but he is also tipped to join the saffron camp, according to people familiar with the matter.

In August, Nitish Kumar had moved out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to join the Grand Alliance (GA). His aim behind this move is to unite the Opposition across the country for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The political drama in Manipur is not the first of its kind, earlier in 2020, six of the seven MLAs of the JD(U) legislators joined the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh. Last month, the seventh JD(U) MLA also joined the BJP.

BJP - JD(U) blame game

Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi was quick to respond to the situation. He took a dig at the JD(U) on Twitter. He tweeted, “Arunachal ke baad Manipur bhi JD(U) mukt. Bahut jald Laluji Bihar ko bhi JD(U) mukt kar denge"

(Translation- After Arunachal, Manipur is also JD(U) free. Laluji Rashtirya Janata Dal -RJD- leader Lalu Prasad Yadav will make Bihar also JD(U)-free very soon.)

Sushil Kumar Modi later said that more state units of the JD(U) will revolt in the coming days. “BJP MLAs revolted in Manipur against the decision of Nitish Kumar betraying Narendra Modi for his personal ambition and joining hands with the RJD."

Defending the saffron party, he further said, "Blaming BJP for the split is like escaping the reality. The fact is that JD(U) MLAs left their party, as they were not pleased with the decisions of Nitish Kumar."

JD(U) president Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh expressed his anger about the way BJP has treated JD(U) inside as well as outside the alliance. He said that the BJP had shown its character yet again. “Even when we were allies, they did the same in Arunachal. Now, we are out of the alliance, yet they have done the same."

He further said, "They will only learn in 2024. They are panicky for 2024 and resorting to such tactics in every state - be it Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, or Jharkhand, but people are also watching. They tried it in Bihar also, but here nothing can happen."

JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar also registered his disapproval about the shift in loyalties of 5 MLAs in Manipur saying, “It is the character of the BJP now that it doesn’t want any other party to grow on its own strength. We fought on our own and won. Like Arunachal, they have repeated it in Manipur. But the people of India are also watching it and the JD(U) will use the people’s power to show them the mirror in 2024."

The general elections for Lok Sabha in 2024 may witness PM Narendra Modi and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar going head-to-head.

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