All Opposition parties need to unite to defeat the BJP in 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Sunday. Kumar, along with other Opposition leaders NCP chief Sharad Pawar and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, was attending a rally organised by former Haryana chief minister and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Om Prakash Chautala in Haryana’s Fatehabad.
The rally marks the 109th birth anniversary of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal, but is also speculated as an attempt of INLD chief to unite the Opposition against BJP.
Recalling his time spent with political veteran Devi Lal, Kumar said, “I can never forget those days when I was young and Devi Lal guided and inspired me.”
Urging all Opposition parties to come together, Kumar said, “If all these parties get together, they (BJP) won’t be able to win at all in 2024 Lok Sabha polls.” He added that he has “spoken at length with Sharad Pawar” and also “requested the Congress” to join them.
“I would like to seek blessings of Om Prakash Chautala and urge him that he should do get more opposition parties together,” Kumar said, while adding that there is no fight between Hindus and Muslims, it is the BJP which want wants to create disturbances.
Farmers don’t get their dues for years: Chautala
Chautala briefed the gathering about the problems that the country’s farmers have been facing for years. “People of all castes and colour, people from all walks of life are fed up with this government [at the Centre] today… The country’s economy is based on agriculture but this government has ruined us [farmers]. If we get a good crop, then we don’t get the MSP; our crops are snatched away at throwaway prices. Farmers don’t get their dues for years.”
We shall together change this regime: Pawar
Taking a dig at the BJP over farmer suicides and last year’s farmers’ protests, Pawar said, “The farmers of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh sacrificed their lives, they struggled peacefully for a year, but they were booked in criminal cases. Assurances were given that the cases shall be withdrawn, but haven’t been done so far. Today, farmers are forced to keep appearing in courts of law and every hour, we are reading that some farmer somewhere has committed suicide.”
“We need to remove those who create such circumstances… In 2024 when we shall get an opportunity, we all shall get together change this regime,” Pawar added.
Rich getting richer, nation’s assets being looted: Yechury
Speaking of how Devi Lal left the prime minister’s position for VP Singh in 1989, Yechury said he recalls the days when they were principles in politics. Hinting at the power shift of public sector companies, he said, “The rich is getting richer, while nation’s assets are being looted. We all need to tell our PM that nation’s people are the owners of these public sector companies and he is the manager. If the manager tries to sell the assets owned by people, we will replace the manager.”
“If we need to save our nation, we need to remove the BJP from power… This is not mann ki baat. This is dil ki baat,” Yechury added.
IPFT joins Opposition meet
In an interesting development, the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), which is BJP’s ally in Tripura, joined the INLD rally on Sunday. Mevar Kumar Jamatia, an IPFT leader, said at the event, “I have come to Haryana for the first time” and expressed his gratefulness to the people of Haryana.
INLD expecting revival
In the state politics, INLD is expecting a revival. It had earlier extended support to the farmers protesting against three farm laws. The party leaders have compared this rally with Delhi’s Boat Club rally organised by Devi Lal, 33 years ago.
At the rally, Chautala promised that if his party comes to power in Haryana, it shall give senior citizens a monthly old age pension of Rs 10,000 and Rs 1,000 per month to women. He also promised to get the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) water to Haryana within one year. “For those who attained martyrdom during farmer agitation, we shall create a memorial in their name on the lines of Jallianwala Bagh in Haryana. All the crops will only be purchased on MSP in mandis only,” he added.
For Sunday’s rally, a large waterproof tent was arranged keeping in view of the ongoing rains in the region. Rain lashed the area for the third consecutive day on Saturday. However, the weather has improved to some extent in Fatehabad and there are no rains in the town since Sunday morning.