Viral: KCR-Nitish Kumar's Awkward Moment Amid 'PM Candidate' Questions

Telangana's K Chandrashekhar Rao, who has been meeting various opposition leaders in moves aimed at the 2024 national election, said he would make all efforts towards a "BJP-mukt Bharat"

Telangana's KCR with Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar at a press conference.

Patna:

A press conference by two Chief Ministers, vital for projecting opposition unity, served up a viral moment when Telangana's K Chandrashekhar Rao tackled questions on a Prime Ministerial candidate while his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar tried to leave.

"Aap baithiye na (please sit)," Mr Rao, or KCR, pleaded as Nitish Kumar insisted: "Aap chaliye na (let's go)."

As the two leaders kept saying "baithiye", "chaliye" to each other, many saw it as an example of the opposition's dissonance on a big question - who will be the prime ministerial candidate vs Prime Minister Narendra Modi - and the discomfiture of two potential candidates being asked who is really in the running.

BJP leaders shared the video on social media and targeted Nitish Kumar, who dumped the party last month and formed a new government with Tejashwi Yadav, Congress and other opposition parties.

Sources close to Nitish Kumar have slammed what they call a misinterpretation of what went down. They say Nitish Kumar wanted to leave because the reporters repeated one question.

It so happened that KCR, who has made his national ambitions clear and has been taking the lead in rallying the opposition, was asked - for the sixth time - whether he would back Nitish Kumar's name for Prime Minister. He had previously replied: "Nitishji is an excellent, senior leader. When we sit together we will come up with a decision."

When he was asked the same question again, Nitish Kumar rose abruptly, signaling an end to the press meet that had gone on for close to an hour.

"Baithiye na," urged KCR, pulling him by his hand as he went on to reply to the question.

"Who says if I propose a name, people will accept it? Why are you in a hurry? We (opposition parties) have to sit and talk about this," he said.

Nitish Kumar was still standing when KCR told the reporters: "I am sitting, you also sit." His Bihar host also sat.

When the question popped up again, KCR parried: "You are smart, but I am smarter."

But Nitish Kumar had apparently had enough and was on his feet again, which led to laughter in the room. 

The questions turned to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and whether he could be the opposition's choice.

"We will make every possible effort to bring together anti-BJP forces," KCR said, coaxing Nitish Kumar to sit.

But Mr Kumar made to leave and stressed, "Let's go. Don't get into all this." 

Sharing the video, BJP leaders said Mr Kumar had "insulted" KCR.

KCR has been meeting various opposition leaders as part of the moves aimed at the 2024 national election. In Bihar, he said he would make all efforts towards a "BJP-Mukt Bharat".

"Why Third Front, we are working on the Main Front...All opposition parties should come together and raise the slogan for a BJP-mukt Bharat... We will try to unite all opposition parties in the country," he said.

The Telangana Chief Minister's visit to Bihar comes weeks after Nitish Kumar's re-entry into the opposition camp. Mr Kumar's move to ditch the BJP has revived speculation about the eight-time Chief Minister as a possible candidate to take on PM Modi. 

BJP leader Sushil Modi said: "KCR didn't even accept Nitish Kumar as a PM candidate and outrightly denied it. Nitish Kumar tried to walk out of a presser when they were asked about it though KCR tried to make him sit many times."

Mr Kumar, reacting to the dig, said to reporters: "Why do you take him seriously? If he gets anything by speaking about me, my best wishes."

.