Highlights

  • INDIA bloc to meet on December 19
  • Opposition parties likely to discuss core agenda, seat sharing
  • First INDIA meet after Congress' defeat in state elections

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INDIA bloc to meet on December 19, first after Congress' state elections defeat

The INDIA bloc, an alliance of opposition parties, will meet on December 19 to discuss their core agenda, seat sharing and joint campaign strategy.

INDIA bloc to meet on December 19, first after Congress' state elections defeat

Evolving a "core positive agenda", seat sharing and a programme to hold joint rallies are among the main challenges before the opposition INDIA bloc that will be taken up at its next meeting in the national capital on December 19.

"The 4th meeting of the leaders of INDIA parties will be held on Tuesday December 19th, 2023 in New Delhi at 3 pm," Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X on Sunday.

The parties intend to move forward with the unity theme - "Main Nahin, Hum" (We, Not Me) - as a counter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the meeting, a senior leader of the Congress said.

The meeting is being held in the backdrop of the Congress' poor show in the just concluded assembly elections, where it suffered humiliating defeats in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, while the BJP asserted that people have affirmed their faith in "Modi's guarantees" and will re-elect his government in 2024.

The challenge before the opposition parties now is to come out with an alternative positive agenda to counter the BJP in the next general elections, the leader said.

Sources said during the meeting, the parties would chalk out plans on seat sharing, for holding joint election rallies and would evolve a common programme for them.

"The election results are not a rejection of issues that were raised in this poll campaign," the leader said on poll planks like caste census and restoration of Old Pension Scheme that have been raised by the opposition parties.

He, however, admitted that the party would think out of the box to take on the BJP in 2024.

"Main Nahin, Hum" (We, Not Me) is the likely slogan that the opposition parties would work on to counter Modi. Sources add that the opposition alliance of the INDIA bloc is likely to take forward the issues of caste census, legal guarantee to MSP and social security for workers.

"Evolving the core positive agenda for the INDIA bloc is the biggest challenge for the opposition parties that would help it take on the BJP," the leader said.

He added that the issues that dominated during the Bharat Jodo Yatra like "rising" economic inequality, social polarisation and political authoritarianism besides price rise and inflation are some issues that are likely to find resonance on the ground during the Lok Sabha polls.

These issues would become part of the common agenda of the opposition parties that will help the opposition alliance take on the BJP.

The INDIA bloc would highlight 10 years under Manmohan Singh and whether the 10 years under PM Modi have brought any difference to the life of the common man, the leader said.

He said the Adani issue will also be raised during the Lok Sabha poll campaign.

Leaders of 26 parties would gather for the strategy meeting in the national capital to address key issues before the alliance as it prepares to take on the BJP in the 2024 general elections, the sources said.

West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee would be in the national capital from December 17 to 19 and is likely to take part in the meet. Work is on to ensure the presence of other senior leaders, the sources said.


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