New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS): With voices emerging from the Janata Dal-United and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) both alliance partners of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has all the qualities of a Prime ministerial candidate, the Congress downplayed the issue saying that a decision for the top post will be taken only after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The demand for projecting Nitish Kumar as the INDIA bloc Prime Ministerial candidate once again gained momentum after he visited the dargah of Hazrat Makhdum Syed Shah Peer Muhammad Mujibullah Quadri Rehmatullah Alleh to offer prayers on the occasion of Dargah Urs on Thursday evening.
Besides the JD-U, Nitish Kumar’s party, he this time even got support from its alliance partner in Bihar, the RJD after senior party member and MLA from Patna’s Maner Bhai Virendra said that he is the most deserving candidate for the top post.
Virendra while speaking to the media on Friday said, “I would like Nitish Kumar to be the prime ministerial candidate. Under the leadership of Lalu Prasad, Tejashwi Yadav and Nitish Kumar, political parties from across the country have united on a single platform.”
He said that slogans are being raised to oust the BJP from the country.
“Whenever Bihar has taken control, there has been a change. Whether there is consent in the INDIA alliance or not, it would be good if Nitish (Kumar) is made the Prime Minister candidate," Virendra said.
Speaking to IANS here, on the debate over the INDIA bloc prime ministerial candidate, Congress General Secretary Tariq Anwar said, “Nitish Kumar has himself on many occasions clarified that he is not the prime ministerial candidate.”
“Even the INDIA bloc has said that the prime ministerial candidate will be decided after the elections,” Anwar said.
When asked that the Chief Minister had visited a dargah in Bihar and it is being speculated that he is aspiring for the top post, the Congress leader said, “In every community there is support for every people. So some people must have spoken in his support. But as far as the INDIA bloc is concerned many times it has been made clear that before the election result this will not be announced.”
Nitish Kumar had first met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chief Rahul Gandhi at 10 Rajaji Marg here in April this year to bring the like minded opposition parties together to take on the BJP-led NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The Bihar Chief Minister was then instrumental in bringing many parties like the Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the INDIA bloc.
Nitish Kumar personally went and met West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and many others.
The first meeting of the 16 like minded parties also took place in Bihar’s Patna on June 23. The number of parties then grew in its second meeting in Karnataka’s Bengaluru on July 17 and 18 to 26 and in the same meeting the INDIA name of the opposition bloc was decided.
During the third meeting in Maharashtra’s Mumbai on August 31 and September 1, the INDIA bloc formed a coordination committee and several sub committees to look after their work