In a bizarre of circumstances, INLD had not invited Congress and the AAP to a rally commemorating the birth of its founder and ex-deputy Prime Minister Devi Lals . Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Sharad Pawar, and a handful of others sold a mahagathbandhan as the panacea for the 2024 poll challenge .
FATEHABAD: On Sunday, an INLD-sponsored rally in Haryanas Fatehabad that was supposed to be the forum for influential non-BJP faces to find common ground saw a series of opposition parties skip the event, allowing Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Sharad Pawar, and a handful of others to sell a mahagathbandhan as the panacea for the 2024 poll challenge.Nitish said the search was not for a third front, but rather a mutually beneficial alliance of all sides united against the BJP.He encouraged Congress to join the proposed alliance.Former Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal attended the rally.The DMK, TRS, and TMC were among the regional powerhouses that were invited to attend.There was no word on whether Andhra CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had been invited.According to sources, NCs Farooq Abdullah, Meghalaya governor Sat Pal Malik, and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik sent messages expressing their inability to attend the rally.Former Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, who was on the dais, told Bihar CM Nitish, I have a close bond with your father. Nitish may have been alluded to reports that Sukhbir met with senior BJP functionaries in recent months, according to sources.Sukhbir said the true NDA was on the stage, claiming that when the saffron alliance was established, the BJP only had a few seats, and that the NDA was able to establish the government due to its struggle and sacrifice by its allies, including Shiv Sena, NDA, INLD, and others.Among the few prominent names at the rally, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and CPMs Sitaram Yechury sent an uproar from Nitishs to all opposition parties to join forces against the BJP-led Central government and help the farming and labour classes.Pawar accused the Centre of forgetting the promises made when the three contentious farm laws were scrapped, including the dismissal of civil cases against those accused during the farmers' revolt and the change of status to MSP. And if ignored, the country's political fabric will be weakened.Nitish said he was now running a Bihar government with the help of seven groups with his deputy, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, and that they have all been marginalized.Former Haryana CM and INLD patriarch O P Chautala advised him to abandon the saffron fold when he was with the BJP, he said.