Kolkata: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Monday as they sought to cobble up a coalition of opposition parties, with the two regional satraps stressing on the need to “prepare together” for the next Lok Sabha polls in 2024.
The meeting between the two leaders, which was also attended by Bihar’s deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, was described as “positive”.
“It was a very positive discussion… Opposition parties need to sit together and strategise,” said Kumar after the meeting in state secretariat Nabanna.
Banerjee came out of the meeting, stating, “We have to give the message that we are all together.”
While details of the discussion were scanty with the leaders preferring to speak on the broader consensus, sources said the two sides used the meeting to figure out how they would proceed in sewing together a coalition that would be workable ahead of the elections.
“Nothing is being done for India’s development, those ruling are only interested in their own advertisement,” claimed Kumar.
Opposition leaders have been critical of rising unemployment, the falling value of the rupee and rising prices as well as the spending on government advertisements.
Meeting among the three leaders Nitish-Tejashwi-Mamata BJP has taken a jibe. BJP leader Amit Malviya tweeted a clip of an old speech by Mamata Banerjee to target and slams it as an unnatural alliance.
In tweet Malviya wrote “It is ironic that Mamata Banerjee who once called Nitish Kumar “gaddar” in a rally in Patna, for not backing her campaign against demonetisation, is today speaking about opposition unity. It tells you a lot about both Mamata and Nitish’s politics of opportunism.”
“Mamata Banerjee should worry about losing ground in Bengal. Last time the BJP won 18 Lok Sabha seats and that number this time would be 35. The lesser said about Nitish Kumar the better. With 40 odd MLAs, he managed to remain as Bihar CM, because the BJP chose to honour its commitment, only to be back stabbed later. People of Bihar and West Bengal will respond at the hustings.” Malviya added.
(With inputs from agencies)