Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to Meet His Odisha Counterpart Naveen Patnaik Amid Opposition Unity Talks
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is scheduled to meet Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on May 9 in Bhubaneswar. The meeting will discuss a range of political issues and the road ahead to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Although reports suggest that this is a significant move towards opposition unity against the BJP ahead of the next elections, details about the meeting were not immediately available.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which has been maintaining a distance from both the BJP and Congress, has so far avoided tilting towards the NDA or forming a non-BJP alliance. Senior BJD Leader Debi Prasad Mishra stated that “Naveen is a frontline leader in the country. It is a courtesy call, and it should not be politicized.”
On the other hand, BJP Leader Suresh Pujari remarked that “Nitish is an opportunist leader. The purpose of the meeting will not be fruitful. People will not accept an anti-Modi alliance.” Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja believes that “Naveen is always with BJP. It will not be fruitful and will be limited to a formality.”
Political expert Rabi Das said, “Chief Minister Naveen always played a masterstroke in politics. Maybe it’s a courtesy call. So it is difficult to speculate on it.”
It may be recalled that in April this year, after meeting prominent opposition leaders in Delhi, Nitish Kumar had announced that he would travel across the country to unite opposition parties.
Notably, the ruling BJD has skipped all meetings aimed at forging a third front. While the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD has been supporting the Narendra Modi government at the Centre in almost all issues since 2019, the state units of the two parties are gradually adopting an aggressive stand against each other ahead of the twin polls.
Chef Minister Naveen had invited both Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Nitish to Odisha in December last year to witness the World Cup Hockey 2023.
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