Patna, Sep 11 : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has decided not to participate in the Jind rally called by INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala on September 25.
The rally will be organized by veteran leader and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) president Om Prakash Chautala to celebrate the birth anniversary of former deputy prime minister Chaudhary Devi Lal.
All non-BJP and non-Congress leaders have been invited to the rally to explore possibilities of formation of a third front ahead of the 2024 general elections.
Chautala had extended invitations to NCP president Sharad Pawar, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda, former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in a bid to organize a third front to take on the BJP and the Congress.
Sources have said that if Nitish Kumar were to participate in the Jind rally, it would antagonise the alliance partner BJP and would create fissures between the two which would be difficult to bridge.
Nitish Kumar cannot afford to take risks keeping in mind that his government is running on the support of the BJP in Bihar, sources said.
Nitish Kumar has been taking a stand against the BJP on the population control law, caste based census, phone tapping issue etc, -- all this can be tolerated but going to the Jind rally may be too much, sources said.
Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, the national president of the Janata Dal United (JDU) said: "Bihar is having various challenges including the coronavirus possible third wave, flood, current viral fever etc. Hence, it is not possible for Nitish Kumar to leave Bihar. If it would be very urgent, he may go to Delhi for a short period."
Lalan Singh however said that the party will send national general secretary K.C. Tyagi to the rally.
Nitish Kumar, during a recent Delhi visit, met former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala. The latter had invited him for the rally which was accepted by Nitish Kumar.
Nitish Kumar has had a long relationship with Chautala in the past. He even went to participate in an election rally in favour of the INLD in Haryana but the political equation this time is slightly different. He is chief minister of Bihar only with the help of the BJP.