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Placating Nitish Kumar Top Of The Agenda For Rahul Gandhi

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
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| July 6 , 2017 , 15:28 IST

Congress Vice President and scion Rahul Gandhi returned recently from a controversial foreign holiday and according to reports, the first item on his agenda is to meet with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who while batting for a unity of the Opposition himself supported the NDA proposed candidate for the Presidential elections breaking away from the Opposition bloc.

Organising a meeting of opposition leaders next week, Gandhi will be meeting separately with Nitish Kumar on the sidelines as he has made it clear to his party that the alliance with Kumar in Bihar must be urgently restocked and will lead the mission himself.  

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Accordingly, the meeting of Opposition parties is being organised as per the convenience of the Bihar CM. Among the topics for discussion is the distress of farmers who are demanding loan waivers and better prices for produce. Also to be discussed are the spate of attacks by self-declared cow vigilantes and the lack of employment opportunities for young people.  

Although Nitish Kumar has maintained that he is still committed to the unity of the Opposition parties and that his support for the NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind is a 'one-off', his decision has stirred up considerable controversy within the grand alliance of Bihar.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad went on to say that CM Kumar has 'flexible principles', but blamed that the Opposition is in 'a mess' because its anchor, the Congress is slow-footed. He warned that the Opposition will fail in exciting public imagination unless it shifts from a 'reactionary narrative' to an 'alternative narrative'.

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Rahul Gandhi's decision to go on a foreign holiday while the party was deciding an opposition candidate for President and his delay in returning when Bihar CM sided with NDA has resulted in negative backlash despite Congress insisting that President Sonia Gandhi was managing the situation. As Rahul is expected to take the top position in the party in October, his absence was read as a lack of commitment.  

Aides of the Bihar Chief Minister claim that Nitish Kumar accepts that only the Congress can bind opposition parties together and is open to suggestions from Rahul Gandhi on how the Opposition should proceed.

However, Bihar CM's backing of other issues such as demonetisation and the roll out of GST that were attacked by the rest of the Opposition signals that Nitish Kumar is likely open to switching sides in the future.