Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar warned the non-NDA parties on Sunday that they will be decimated in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections if they do not unite against the BJP.
“I have been advising all the parties to work together. If they unite, they will win with a huge majority in 2024. If they don’t, mark my words, they will lose,” Nitish said.
He also asserted that the BJP would learn a lesson in the next general elections.
“People keep asking me whether such a unity between the Opposition parties will be the third front, but I insist that it will be the main front,” Nitish said.
The Bihar chief minister was speaking at the open convention of the Janata Dal United (JDU) national council in Patna.
Top functionaries of the party, including national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh aka Lalan Singh, national secretary-general K.C. Tyagi, and senior leaders from units of different states were present on the occasion.
Nitish’s words not only served as a warning bell for the Opposition parties but also belied his frustration over getting a lukewarm response to his efforts to strike a broadbased unity among them.
He had broken off from the NDA to form a new Grand Alliance government in August and had ventured out to make efforts for a broad-based Opposition unity across the country to take on the BJP in the next general elections. Speaking further at the open convention,
Nitish slammed the BJP leaders without taking their names for demanding a population control law and pointed out that the education of girls was the key to bringing down the fertility rate.
“Some people are demanding a law that nobody should have more than two children. This is a bogus thing and I completely oppose it. If you provide education to girls, the fertility rate will go down on its own,” he said.
Citing national data and also Bihar-specific numbers, Nitish asserted that the more educated a girl was, the lesser the fertility rate among them. “We focused on their education and the fertility rate of our state has come down from 4.3 to 2.9 now. It will drop to 2 in the next four to five years,” he added.
The fertility rate or total fertility rate (TFR) is the number of births to a woman during her lifetime. A fertility rate of 2.1 in India is considered to be good as it coincides with the replacement level of the population, keeping the demography static.
Nitish appealed to the people to uphold harmony in the society because “some people want to create disputes between Hindus and Muslims, and different communities.”
He also slammed the BJP for splitting the JDU in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur and said that it showed the way it treated its allies.