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Nitish Kumar said that he is neither a candidate for the prime ministerial post nor does he want one

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Tuesday that he is neither a candidate for the prime ministerial post nor does he want one, a claim that comes amid speculation that his visit to Delhi is to claim the leadership of opposition parties . It is time for Left parties, Congress and all regional parties to come together and form a united opposition, Kumar told reporters after meeting CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI general secretary D Raja at their respective party offices.

The Janata Dal (United) leader, who severed his party’s ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) last month, is in the capital to meet key opposition leaders. “I have had a long association with the CPI(M) since my youth. You all have not seen me but whenever I came to Delhi I used to go to this office. We were separated but today we are all together again. Our whole focus is to unite all left parties, regional parties and Congress. It will be a big problem if we all come together,” he said. Asked about his aspirations for the post of prime minister, Kumar said, “That’s wrong. I am not an aspirant for the post, nor am I running for it.”

Yechury said Kumar’s return to the opposition and his desire to be part of the fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a big signal for the country’s politics. “Firstly, the agenda is to unite all parties, not to decide on the prime ministerial candidate. When the time comes, we will decide on the prime ministerial candidate and let you know,” the Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief said. Yechury further said that the opposition has not yet drawn up any concrete road map, but talks are underway. “We hope that political parties will come together that want to ensure and protect the unity of the country, its diversity, its unique character and its constitution,” he said.

Raja said he discussed the evolving political situation in the country with Kumar. “The ‘Indian Model’ of unity against RSS-BJP authoritarian misrule is emerging. Also presented him with a copy of my book on Marx and Ambedkar,” Raja tweeted after the meeting. Kumar pointed out that his ties with the Communist Party of India (CPI) date back to when he first became a member of Parliament. “(Political) developments in Bihar are not limited to the state alone. It has a huge impact on the country’s political course. We believe the time has come for all left and regional parties to come together to fight the BJP. Defend democracy. That is what Nitishji is trying to do,” said Raja. Kumar, who arrived in Delhi on Monday, also met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Kumaraswamy.

The JD(U) leader is likely to meet other opposition leaders including Sharad Pawar (National Congress Party), Arvind Kejriwal (Aam Aadmi Party), Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party) and Om Prakash Chautala (Indian National Lok Dal).

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