INDIA bloc’s key meeting today; Mamata says seat sharing on agenda. Top points | Latest News India –

INDIA bloc’s key meeting today; Mamata says seat sharing on agenda. Top points | Latest News India

INDIA bloc parties to meet in Delhi: A day after 78 members of Parliament from opposition parties across Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were suspended till at least the end of the winter session, the INDIA bloc will hold its scheduled key meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday to deliberate on seat sharing, a joint campaign blueprint and redrawing the joint strategy to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Opposition's Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) leaders during a press conference after the bloc leaders meeting, in Mumbai. (ANI file)
Opposition’s Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) leaders during a press conference after the bloc leaders meeting, in Mumbai. (ANI file)

With last week’s suspension, this means a total of 92 opposition MPs have been suspended till at least the end of the session. Of these, 14 will have to appear before the privileges committee, which could choose to recommend a longer suspension.

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On Monday, a day before the opposition alliance meeting which will be held at the Ashoka Hotel, West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said the INDIA bloc’s prime ministerial candidate will be decided after the 2024 general elections and expressed confidence that the alliance will iron out all issues, including over seat-sharing, to defeat the BJP.

INDIA or ‘Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance’ is a group of opposition parties, including the Congress.

Banerjee also met Aam Aadmi Party national convener and her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal and Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday. Kejriwal did not comment on the discussions at the around 45-minute meeting at the South Avenue residence of TMC MP and Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

Kejriwal is scheduled to go to an undisclosed place to attend a 10-day Vipassana meditation course from Tuesday.

Taking to social media ‘X’, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “The 4th meeting of the leaders of INDIA parties will be held on Tuesday, December 19th, 2023, in New Delhi at 3 p.m.”

Top points on Opposition’s INDIA bloc meeting today:

  • One of the main agendas of the fourth meeting of the Opposition’s grand alliance would be finalising the seat-sharing formula for the Lok Sabha polls.
  • Mamata Banerjee dismissed suggestions that the INDIA bloc has lost time in putting things in order, saying, “It is better late than never”. Banerjee expressed confidence that a three-way alliance is very much possible in West Bengal between her TMC, the Congress and the Left.
  • Mamata Banerjee also made light of the BJP’s confidence that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will return for a third term, saying 2024 is not a done deal.
  • Speaking with reporters, Bihar deputy chief minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said the committees that were formed earlier have been working behind the scenes and preparations were being made for the polls. He said everyone in the opposition ranks would play its part and asserted that regional parties are very strong.
  • Asked about the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s role in the INDIA bloc going forward, Yadav said everyone’s role is the same and everyone’s objective is the same which is to oust “divisive forces” from power.
  • Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) and Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray also arrived in New Delhi on Monday evening for the bloc’s meeting.
  • The first meeting of the joint opposition convened in Patna on June 23 and the second meeting was held in Bengaluru on July 17-18. The third meeting happened in Mumbai on August 31-September 1.
  • The parties have come together to take on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and prevent it from winning a third straight term at the Centre in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
  • In the Mumbai meeting, the opposition parties adopted resolutions to collectively contest the Lok Sabha elections while announcing that seat-sharing arrangements would be finalised at the earliest through a spirit of give-and-take.
  • The theme chosen by the INDIA bloc for the elections is “Judega Bharat, Jeetega India” (India will unite, India will win).

INDIA bloc meeting: What’s on the agenda?

Seat sharing for the Lok Sabha elections, which are just four months away, is likely to be at the top of the agenda for the next INDIA bloc meeting and will be crucial for the Congress, particularly as the party lost Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, the Hindi heartland states.

The parties intend to move forward with the unity theme – “Main Nahin, Hum” (We, Not Me) – as a counter to Modi at the meeting, a senior Congress leader told news agency PTI.

The key challenge before the leaders of various opposition parties, who have come together to fight the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, is also to come up with an alternative common programme as a counter to the ruling dispensation.

The immediate challenge before the INDIA bloc is also to build a consensus on having a convener, a spokesperson and a common secretariat, as it is a tricky issue due to differences among its constituents.

(With inputs from agencies)

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