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In Choosing Meira Kumar, Sonia Sends Clear Message to Nitish

Sonia Gandhi was all smiles when she announced the name of Meira Kumar as the Opposition's choice for the Presidential candidate.

Pallavi Ghosh | CNN-News18pallavighcnnibn

Updated:June 24, 2017, 5:12 PM IST
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In Choosing Meira Kumar, Sonia Sends Clear Message to Nitish
File photo of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. (Image: PTI)
New Delhi: Sonia Gandhi was all smiles when she announced the name of Meira Kumar as the Opposition's choice for the Presidential candidate. Seventeen Opposition parties participated, with Ajit Singh being the surprise package. Though the absence of Janata Dal United was hard to miss.

It was clear though that Nitish's support for NDA presidential nominee Kovind was uppermost in the mind of those at the meeting. And it was called no less than a betrayal by Nitish.

Sonia Gandhi told News18, "I am not upset with anyone. I appeal to all opposition parties including anyone who's not here," sending an important message to Nitish Kumar who decided to skip the meeting.

Lalu Yadav came out to speak about Meira Kumar, but, unlike Sonia, he was more direct in his message to his political partner Nitish Kumar: "I will meet him and urge him to vote for Bihar ki Beti."

In this Dalit versus Dalit battle for Raisina Hill, the Opposition has upped the ante by choosing someone from Bihar.

Sources say that Congress had earlier suggested two names: Sushil Kumar Shinde and Meira Kumar.

Sonia was hoping to bring Shiv Sena on its side by declaring Shinde as the Presidential candidate.

When Sonia called all the allies and told them that it was Meira Kumar. Her target was Nitish.

Sources say, for now, Nitish has decided to stay with Kovind. But his hands are tied. He may find it difficult to turn his back completely to Meira, who is also a prominent Dalit face from Bihar. The possibility of a break or split in voting cannot be ruled out.

The remaining Opposition parties will certainly wish to remind Nitish that his support for Kovind meant turning his back to both secular and Bihari votes.


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