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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, September 3: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday made it clear that he’s eying the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The national executive meeting of the JD (U), held in Patna, tasked the Bihar Chief Minister to begin working on the Opposition unity.

Kumar’s national political plan was widely speculated, while he snapped ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party to embrace back his social justice kin Lalu Prasad Yadav.

The national executive meeting adopted a resolution which claimed that there’s an “undeclared emergency” in the country.

The JD (U) plenary also stated that the “BJP government at the Centre is trying to silence the Opposition parties by using the investigative agencies”.

The Patna conclave is taking place over the weekend just after the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao came calling to Patna and held meetings with Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav under intense media spotlight.

Significantly, the Patna-based media is going gung-ho with question “will Nitish Kumar be the PM face of the Opposition” to anyone who talks politics in the Bihar capital.

This is somewhat similar to 2013 when the Delhi-based media would have just one question “will Narendra Modi be the PM face of the BJP” whenever they saw a leader from the saffron ranks.

The regional blocks in India are quite formidable. The states which are currently ruled by the regional outfits account for 286 Lok Sabha seats.

Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha seats, and the JD (U) currently has 18 members in the lower House of Parliament.

Incidentally, Telangana Chief Minister is seen to be the first mover for the Opposition unity plank for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, as he initiated the outreach in May this year by meeting a number of leaders in Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai in his bid to turn the flame on the poll pot for the general elections.

However, it may be recalled that the Congress-led Opposition letter to former President Ram Nath Kovind against the Central government bore signatures of 17 political parties, but Telangana Chief Minister was missing.

The Congress still looks at K Chandrashekhar Rao, popularly called KCR, with suspicion. The Congress also sees Nitish Kumar suspiciously. The Congress and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have divergent views, as had been on display in the election for Vice President.

Lalu Prasad Yadav is the link for Nitish Kumar to connect with Sonia Gandhi, the working president of Congress.

But in the scheme of things of KCR, the national alternative against the BJP has to be led by the regional parties and not the Congress. On paper, the regional parties even if they are hypothetically considered to unite for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will have a maximum of 286 Lok Sabha seats to build the plot to oust the BJP government.

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