April 14, 2016 12:05:47 am
Days after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called for the largest anti-BJP front to defeat the ruling party in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh Wednesday said his party was open to joining hands with all secular forces.
Responding positively to Nitish Kumar’s call, he said Congress was prepared to work with all parties to defeat the BJP. “If JD(U) or any other party wants to be part of an alliance, we can think about it,” said Digvijaya, adding that Congress was the only party that had been consistently opposing communal forces like BJP.
Nitish, who had so far confined himself to Bihar, now seems to be pitching for a bigger role in national politics after becoming the JD(U) chief. He recently took the party’s reins from Sharad Yadav, who was at the helm since 2006.
Meanwhile, sources said while Congress was open to the idea of working with Nitish, the party was not ready to give up its position as the nucleus of an anti-BJP front. Congress, according to sources, will like Nitish to support it as the lead challenger to the BJP in 2019, and back Rahul Gandhi’s bid for prime ministership.
“We want this country to be secular… We are very happy that Nitish Kumar, who has sort of worked with the BJP very closely, has realised it now. We are very happy that finally all political parties have come around and accepted the Congress party’s stand that we can’t have anything to do with communal forces like the BJP,” said Digvijaya.
Asked if Nitish would emerge as an alternative to BJP and Congress, Singh said, “Every person has the right to be accepted as national leader… it’s for the people to decide.”
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