“Kejriwal Criticizes Nitish’s Political Flip: ‘It’s Wrong, Shouldn’t Have Left'”

Delhi CM Expresses Concerns Over Nitish Kumar's U-Turn, Stresses INDIA Bloc's Strength

New Delhi: In a notable response to the political upheaval in Bihar, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal criticized Nitish Kumar’s abrupt departure from the Congress-led INDIA bloc and subsequent alignment with the BJP. The move, occurring less than three months before the upcoming general election, has sent shockwaves through Bihar’s political landscape.

Expressing his disapproval, Kejriwal asserted that Nitish Kumar’s decision was “wrong” and emphasized the inappropriateness of such conduct in a democratic setup. Despite the setback, Kejriwal remained optimistic about the INDIA alliance’s prospects in Bihar during the looming Lok Sabha elections in April/May.

“I feel this is wrong… he should not have left. Such conduct is not good for democracy,” Kejriwal remarked during a media interaction, adding, “… but, as per my understanding, this will cause a huge loss to NDA (the BJP-led alliance), and INDIA will benefit.”

The Delhi CM recalled Nitish Kumar’s meeting with him in May last year, where efforts were made to garner support for the INDIA bloc by persuading opposition leaders to join the alliance. Kejriwal also anticipated that the Chandigarh mayoral election on Tuesday would serve as a litmus test for AAP and Congress collaboration within the INDIA framework, despite ongoing disputes over the division of Lok Sabha seats in Delhi and Punjab.

The INDIA bloc, aimed at uniting the opposition against the BJP, has faced challenges, notably in the Assembly polls held in November. The alliance failed to consolidate in key states like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh, allowing the BJP to secure victories. Nitish Kumar had criticized the Congress for its perceived reluctance in preparing for the Lok Sabha election, contributing to internal tensions within the alliance.

Kejriwal’s comments take on added significance as they mirror tensions between the Punjab units of his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress, particularly concerning seat-sharing talks in the border state. Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s assertion that the party had candidates for all 13 seats sparked a public exchange with Congress’ state boss, Partap Bajwa.

The unfolding political scenario poses a triple challenge for the INDIA bloc, with Nitish Kumar’s shift in Bihar, AAP-Congress discord in Punjab, and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress withdrawing support in West Bengal. The bloc faces internal fractures even before election dates are announced, raising questions about its cohesiveness and strategic effectiveness.

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