In a setback to the Congress, its Bihar ally JD-U said it could not attend the concluding event of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Srinagar on January 30, as it was pre-occupied by the February 27 Nagaland polls but wished it all success.
The Congress had invited 24 opposition parties on the day to put a united face.
In a letter to his Congress counterpart Mallikarjun Kharge, Janata Dal-United President Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh wrote: "Much as I would like to be present at the historic event, I regret my inability to do so, as I need to be present at the launching of the party's election campaign at Wokha in Nagaland the same day."
However, he said that the Bharat Jodo Yatra has also given an opportunity to study, experience, and sense the mood and anxieties of the people first hand, and will go a long way in helping us formulate joint strategies in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
"There are no two opinions that there is decline in democratic values in the country and that the Constitutional institutions that are supposed to ensure checks and balances on unrestrained executive power are being systematically destroyed. The pace at which the country is fast transforming itself from an electoral democracy to an electoral autocracy, to say the least, is frightening," he said.
Lalan Singh said that the need of the hour is an unified opposition and he expects that the Congress takes appropriate steps in this direction.
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