Opp moves: Telangana CM with DMK's stalin.

Opp moves: Telangana CM with DMK's stalin.

DMK to host meeting of opposition leaders in Chennai on Aug 30

Nitish rules out any truck with RJD; keeps options open with BJP over seat-sharing

Agency Report | New Delhi/Patna | 9 July, 2018 | 09:30 PM

Churning among political parties to form alliances or not seem to have started with the great battle of 2019 in mind. After all the moves by opposition parties in the north, it’s time for the south to take initiative now.

In the run up to the general elections next year, the DMK is organising a show of strength of opposition parties by inviting top political leaders to a meeting on federal structure in Chennai on August 30.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (TMC), General Secretaries of CPI and CPI-M Sudhakar Reddy and Sitaram Yechury, National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are among those invited to the event.

DMK MP Tiruchi Siva met Kejriwal on Monday at his residence and extended him an invitation on behalf of his party leader M.K. Stalin. The Chief Minister has accepted the invitation, sources close to him said.

DMK’s effort to unite parties opposed to the BJP comes in the midst of churning in national parties ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
Meanwhile, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) has said that it would “like” to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with its coalition partner BJP while stressing that there was no question of patching up with the “corrupt” Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

“Today at our National Executive we discussed the strategy for 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Though there was no formal resolution passed, but it was a sort of consensus that we would like to go into the polls in alliance with the BJP.

“It would put to rest all sorts of speculations in the media that we are going to break away from the BJP,” JD-U Secretary General K.C. Tyagi said.

Hours after Tyagi briefed the media about the meet, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted that the JD-U has passed a resolution in its National Executive that it will contest Lok Sabha elections in 2019 with BJP.

The JD-U meet comes in the wake of its call that the party will play “big brother” in Bihar and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will be the face of NDA in the state.

Tyagi ruled out the possibilities of re-aligning with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) but kept the options open for Congress on the conditions that the party should clear its stand about Lalu Prasad’s party.

“Our leader Nitish Kumar had met Rahul Gandhi (before ditching the grand alliance) and apprised him about the corrupt Lalu Prasad family. But he (Gandhi) didn’t do anything to stop the grand alliance from disintegrating. Rahul Gandhi’s stand on corruption is not clear. Until or unless the Congress makes its stand clear about the corrupt RJD, how can we communicate with it,” he said.

“Our leader Nitish Kumar’s message is very clear. Our party will not compromise on the corruption, crime and communalism,” he said, adding the JD-U was firm on maintaining these principles.

Asked if he was hinting at JD-U being open to coming back to a Congress-led alliance sans RJD, Tyagi said: “You are free to draw your own inferences.”

During the day-long the JD-U also decided to contest Assembly polls in four states — Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. “The party will contest on selected seats,” Tyagi said.

“Some media reports say we are helping BJP but we are neither supporting them nor opposing them… we are not helping them,” he told reporters.

Addressing the National Executive members, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made it clear that there were no official talks yet about seat-sharing with the BJP but the party can’t be taken for granted.

“We had got 17 per cent of vote share in 2014 when we were crossing through difficult times. So no one can ignore us. Those who ignore us will be ignored by the people of Bihar,” a source present in the meeting quoted him as saying.

The National Executive also authorized Nitish Kumar to take decisions in regards to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

During the meet, the party passed two resolutions – one supporting the idea of holding simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, and the other opposing the Assam Citizenship Amendment Bill.

The developments come ahead of BJP President Amit Shah’s visit to Bihar next week.
“We will discuss seat sharing for 2019 polls when the time comes,” Nitish Kumar told the media here.

“We will sit together at the right time to discuss seat sharing.”

Nitish Kumar, however, criticized senior BJP leader and Union Minister Griraj Singh for meeting some persons accused of taking part in riots. “We will not allow communal troubles in the state.” (IANS)