Published On: Sun, Jan 14th, 2024

Nitish refuses INDI convener post, Mallikarjun Kharge named bloc’s chief

New Delhi: After a series of meetings and deliberations, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge was named as the chairperson of the Opposition-led INDI bloc on Saturday.

An official announcement about Kharge’s name for the post of convenor is still awaited

Sources said that the development happened after Nitish Kumar refused to shoulder the responsibility and he initial proposed Lalu Prasad’s name for the said post. In the event of his proposal not acceptable, then someone from the Congress should be entrusted with the responsibility, Nitish Kumar is said to have suggested, added sources.

However, an official announcement about Kharge’s name for the post of convenor is still awaited.

The development comes as leaders of the INDI bloc held a virtual meeting to review the seat-sharing agenda, participation in “Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra” and other matters related to the alliance, earlier in the day.

Leaders present at the meeting had decided to appoint Nitish Kumar as the convener of the bloc. However, Nitish Kumar’s party said he was not after any position. The Bihar Chief Minister has reportedly turned down the proposal, saying that either Lalu Prasad or someone from the Congress should take up the responsibility.

A final call on the convener post will be taken after a discussion with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and leaders of other parties who were not present at the meeting.

In December last year, Mamata Banerjee had proposed Kharge as the alliance’s Prime Ministerial candidate. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also backed the proposal.

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On Friday, Kharge chaired a meeting of the party’s Lok Sabha coordinators from several states and urged them to increase their connect with the people.

While the first meeting was held for Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, the second meeting was for coordinators from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh, Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh.

Kharge had earlier on Thursday held discussions with the Lok Sabha coordinators from other states.

The party has appointed coordinators for all Lok Sabha constituencies in a bid to coordinate the efforts being made across the country ahead of the elections.

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