Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United on Tuesday took out processions across the state, urging people to be on guard against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s alleged politics of communalism.
In the state capital Patna, JD-U national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan and parliamentary board chief Upendra Kushwaha were among those who took part in the 'Satarkata Evam Jagarukta March'.
"Ours is a movement aimed at cautioning people against the conspiracy (saazish) of the BJP.
"The BJP has devised a plan to sharpen communal divides so that a sizeable section of population gets galvanized in its favour and help it hold on to power without having accomplished anything while ruling the Centre," Kushwaha told reporters on the occasion.
The march commenced by paying tributes to Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar at his statue installed close to Patna High Court premises, from where thousands of JD-U workers walked to the historic Gandhi Maidan, about a couple of kilometres away.
"There is no alternative to Nitish Kumar. He is the very axis of the entire opposition," said JD-U workers, who openly pitched for their leader as the next PM though the septuagenarian has asserted many times that he was "not in the race".
Notably, Kumar had pulled the plug on alliance with the BJP less than two months ago following apprehensions that the saffron party was trying to split the JD-U.
The BJP has been crying foul and accusing Kumar of "betrayal" of the mandate of 2020 assembly polls to realise his own ambitions.
Despite ruling himself out of the race for prime ministership, Kumar has been trying to forge opposition unity which, he believes, can defeat the BJP in 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
His meeting with Congress leader Sonia Gandhi two days ago evoked ridicule from BJP leaders in the state who wondered whether Kumar, accompanied by Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad, "was made to keep waiting" since no photograph of theirs with the UPA chairperson was released.
"The BJP cannot order others to release photographs. It is jittery at the thought of having to face a united opposition and lose power in 2024 which is Nitish Kumar's aim. Hence it is talking nonsense," said Kushwaha.
According to the JD-U state headquarters, processions were taken out in all 38 districts of Bihar.