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Nitish won't join ally Cong's Bharat Jodo Yatra; RJD yet to decide

January 04, 2023 00:29 IST

Terming that the Congress' 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' is its "internal matter", Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said his Janata Dal-United will not participate in the padayatra.

IMAGE: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav during the ceremony to distribute appointment letters to teachers in Patna, December 31, 2022. Photograph: ANI Photo

Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal, the largest constituent of the ruling 'Mahagathbandhan' to which the Congress is an ally, also said the party has not taken any decision on joining the foot march.


Kumar's comment comes days after a section of JD-U leaders in Uttar Pradesh announced that they would join the Congress' 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' in the state.

"Bharat Jodo Yatra is its internal matter. We will not join this yatra. Let them (Congress) complete their programme, then we will sit together and discuss about the opposition unity," Kumar said while interacting with media persons in the Bihar's capital Patna.

RJD spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwari said the party's ideology is the same as that of the Congress and the grand old party's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' has "drawn a huge crowd" in states where the long march passed through.

Asked whether the RJD will participate in the yatra led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, he said, "No such decision has been taken. It will be taken by deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav."

Notably, Samajwadi Party had on Monday stated that its chief Akhilesh Yadav would not participate in the yatra that entered neighbouring Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.

Besides the main 3,570-km Kanyakumari to Kashmir yatra, a mass contact initiative of the party, the Congress is organising several sub-marches in states from where the main yatra would not pass.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge is scheduled to launch a padayatra to be organised by the party's Bihar unit on the lines of the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' on January 5 from Banka district.

The Bihar CM also said "a united opposition can defeat the BJP" in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Kumar had recently said he has "no problems" with the Congress, his ally in the state, pitching for Rahul Gandhi as the "opposition's PM face".

"I have no problem" was Kumar's candid reply when journalists approached him with queries about former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's statement that Gandhi shall be the Prime Ministerial candidate in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Kumar had also said, "I must make it clear, I have said it again, that I am myself not a claimant. Of course, I am of the firm belief that more and more parties (opposed to the BJP) should come together and the front thus formed will win a handsome majority and form a government sensitive to people's needs."

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