Rahul stated that after Karnataka, Congress was likely to win MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana, where elections are scheduled for November or December. Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, stated that the opposition would come together to “defeat the BJP” in Patna later on Friday. He continued to criticise the central government for “working to divide the country” in his remarks.
Hours before the gathering of at least 18 Opposition parties in Patna on Friday, Rahul Gandhi addressed state party workers at a gathering in the Bihar headquarters, telling them that their conflict with the BJP was one of philosophy. “The BJP is spreading hatred, violence and working to divide India. The Congress is working to unite and spread love in India. You know well that only love can counter hate. All Opposition parties of the country have come here. Ek saath milkar hum BJP ko harane jaa rahe hai (We will defeat the BJP together),” Rahul stated.
Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, met Rahul and Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge at the Patna airport in the morning. The two leaders were welcomed by other Congress lawmakers as well. Rahul and Kharge travelled to Sadaqat Ashram, the Congress’s regional office in Bihar, from the airport. They unveiled a bust of B.R. Ambedkar on the premises of the party before speaking to party members.
Rahul was portrayed by Kharge in his address as the Opposition’s unifier, with the former saying he “took the first step” in this direction. “Leaders of all opposition parties will come together and together we will fight in 2024. To this end, Rahul Gandhi took the first step. He told me and both of us thought we should call leaders of each party and together take this step. That’s why we are here today,” Kharge mentioned.
Incidentally, the meeting is being hosted by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (JDU) and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), both of whom toured the country in previous months for this first get-together. The meeting was supposed to be held on 12 June but was postponed to 23 June because Rahul and Kharge were unavailable and Nitish made it clear only top bosses should attend. The significance of Kharge’s aforementioned statement was further underscored by the fact that other parties have shied away from discussing who would represent a potential combined front to oppose the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections of 2024.
Rahul and Kharge both praised Bihar in their remarks for ushering national political changes. “The DNA of the Congress is in Bihar,” Rahul said, with Kharge adding, “Bihar cannot let go of the ideology of Congress party. If we win Bihar, we will win the whole country.” “The people of Bihar walked with us during the Bharat Jodo Yatra across India. You supported us because you support our ideology,” Rahul stated.