The Congress and Janata Dal (United) have advocated a Bihar-like mahagatbandhan to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Days after the BJP's stellar performance in Uttar Pradesh, formation of a grand alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election was mooted by both the parties to counter the Modi wave.
"A Bihar-like alliance is the need of the hour to defeat the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha election. All the political parties have to arrive at a common platform. Had Mayawati been part of the Uttar Pradesh alliance of the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, it would have been better. Unless a grand alliance is formed, it is difficult to defeat Prime Minister Modi," said Sanjay Singh, JD-U MLC.
The JD-U also pitched Nitish Kumar as the face that can challenge the might of Modi in 2019.
WHO IS SAYING WHAT ON THE GRAND ALLIANCE:
- The Congress, which faced its worst defeat in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election by winning just seven of the 403 seats, is now witnessing debates on the need to form a grand alliance to take on Narendra Modi in 2019.
- Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said that an alliance, whenever forged, will give a tough fight to the ruling BJP government. "Time has come to form a broader alliance. We are weak in several states and wherever we have forged alliances our strike rate has been high. There is a need to understand that it is not the same Congress which was strong in 1968, and our reach is going down. Grand alliance is a must for 2019," said Mani Shankar Aiyar.
- The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the alliance partner of JD-U in Bihar, which returned to power after forming a grand alliance with Nitish Kumar's party and the Congress is batting for a broader alliance to face the Modi juggernaut.
- "There was no grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh as a result of which the BJP won. Had there been an alliance, things would have been different," said Rabri Devi, RJD MLC.
- The JD-U, which is open to a grand alliance in 2019, wants Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to be the face of the alliance that will take on Narendra Modi. Party leaders maintained that Nitish is the most credible and experienced face to defeat Modi.
- "Nitish Kumar is not in the race for the PM post but as far as his qualification, administrative skills and experience is concerned, he is best suited for the top post. His experience cannot be challenged by anyone for the job," said Neeraj Kumar, JD-U spokesperson.
- "Nitish Kumar should be the leader of the grand alliance, only then it is possible to defeat the BJP in 2019," said Sanjay Singh of JD-U.