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Anti-BJP politicos unite

Anti-BJP politicos unite
Highlights

The Bihar loss has emboldened the scattered Opposition to confront the idea of an anti-BJP front for the first time after Modi swept to power in 2014. JD-U state president Vashisht Narain Singh told the media that it was the first time such a large number of top politicians attended the oath taking of Nitish Kumar.

Patna: The Bihar loss has emboldened the scattered Opposition to confront the idea of an anti-BJP front for the first time after Modi swept to power in 2014. JD-U state president Vashisht Narain Singh told the media that it was the first time such a large number of top politicians attended the oath taking of Nitish Kumar.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi greets Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at Gandhi Maidan in Patna on Friday

"Such a thing has never happened. It is the beginning of opposition unity in the country," he said. Even critics of Nitish's grudgingly admire his many traits that enabled him to make up with his friend-turned-foe-turned-ally Lalu Prasad and deliver a huge blow to PM Narendra Modi.

The absence of UP CM Akhilesh Yadav at a time when opposition parties are hailing Bihar’s victory as their biggest achievement against the Modi government, did come as a surprise.

Meanwhile, Kerala Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan on Friday said Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has no right to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Nitish Kumar in Patna.

Achuthanandan said the poll outcome in Bihar was a historic victory of democratic secular forces above fascism. “Chandy has been maintaining silence over recent issues such as Dadri lynching and murder of the rationalist involving the Sangh Parivar, said Achuthanandan.

Chandy behaves as a Congressman during daytime and turns into RSS loyalist during in the night. If Nitish Kumar was aware of Chandy’s true nature, he would not have invited the Kerala CM for the swearing-in ceremony, said Achuthanandan.

The Congress party sees Bihar as its comeback chance. From four members in the last Bihar assembly, the party now has 27. Four Congressmen took oath as ministers, with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi attending the ceremony. A party leader, a former minister in the Congress led government at the Centre, said "This victory will give the Congress the much-needed opportunity to regroup and fight the BJP. We had lost our confidence after the 2014 defeat (in the Lok Sabha elections)."

The Congress is already looking at replicating the Bihar formula - of forming alliances with different parties opposed to the BJP - in other states where the party does not fancy a chance of forming a government on its own.

Senior Bihar Congress leader Sadanand Singh, left out of the Grand Alliance ministry headed by Nitish Kumar, was named CLP leader by Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

Sadanand Singh, ninth term MLA from Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur district, was considered a sure shot in the new Bihar cabinet but his name was not there among those who took oath.

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