Lalu to meet Sonia to discuss anti-BJP alliance, common presidential candidate
PATNA: A day after Janata Dal (U) national president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi, Kumar’s Bihar ally and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Friday said he would meet Gandhi soon.
“I will go to Delhi soon and meet Sonia Gandhi. The need of the hour is to form a broader alliance of secular parties,” said Yadav to journalists. “Whenever all the secular parties contest election together, they win. They lose when they contest separately, like in Uttar Pradesh recently,” he added.
Terming Congress as a “big, national party with a huge contribution to the nation,” Yadav said efforts would be made to bring all non-BJP parties together. These parties would include Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party, and the Left, he added.
Yadav is also likely to discuss with Sonia Gandhi the issue of fielding a common Opposition candidate for the next President. “Yadav is of the view that the next President of the country must not be from BJP-led NDA. He is keen to set into motion an initiative in that direction. Such an initiative and its success would give crucial momentum for greater Opposition unity in time for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” said an RJD leader close to Yadav.
JD(U) sources said Nitish Kumar and Sonia Gandhi discussed the issue of Presidential candidate during their half-an-hour-long meeting at her 10 Janpath residence. JD (U) on Thursday appealed to all Opposition parties to field a common Presidential candidate, with JD (U) national general secretary and Rajya Sabha member KC Tyagi saying that Sonia Gandhi should lead the initiative and start holding talks with secular parties.
RJD sources said Yadav had already spoken with Sonia Gandhi and that he would fly to New Delhi next week to hold discussions with her.