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Mamata, Rahul proposed the name INDIA for Opposition alliance

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
July 18, 2023 23:41 IST
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The original suggestion was to call it 'Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance', but the word 'democratic' was replaced with 'developmental' after Kumar and Yechury raised some objections saying it sounded too similar to the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), sources said.

IMAGE: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at the media address after the Opposition parties meet, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. Photograph: Shrikant Singh/ANI Photo

As leaders of 26 parties held a pow wow for two days to put up a united front against the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, it took several rounds of bilateral and multilateral deliberations amongst them before they reached consensus on issues ranging from the name of the alliance to contours of their future strategy.

Some wanted a convener to be named immediately, while others wanted a proposed coordination committee to be finalised, sources said, adding there were differences even on its size.

However, everyone agreed that decisions must be taken unanimously and eventually the 26-member bloc agreed to call their grouping, INDIA -- Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance.


They also agreed to set up an 11-member coordination committee but left the decision on its members and convener for their next meeting, which they decided will be held in Mumbai in Maharashtra, where none of the alliance members is in power.

The first meeting was held in Patna in Bihar, ruled by the INDIA front parties, while the second one was held in Bengaluru in Karnataka where the Congress has recently returned to power.

There are plans to hold future meetings in various parts of the country, while the grouping decided to set up a common secretariat in the national capital.

The leaders held extensive deliberations before finalising the alliance name.

Among other suggested names were 'India's Main Front (IMF)', 'Indian People's Front', 'Indian Progressive Front', 'Indian Popular Front' and 'We For India', sources said.

Sources said Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi suggested and agreed on the name INDIA and most leaders concurred.

The sources said Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury suggested 'We for India' while Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar proposed 'India's Main Front'.

The original suggestion was to call it 'Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance', but the word 'democratic' was replaced with 'developmental' after Kumar and Yechury raised some objections saying it sounded too similar to the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), sources said.

On the convener of the grouping, sources said that Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad were keen that a convener should be named at today's meeting itself and were reportedly miffed after it was not done.

Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad also did not attend a joint press meet after the meeting, which some construed as them being 'miffed'.

Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav was also not present at the press briefing of all parties.

Sources, however, rubbished reports of Kumar and Lalu not being happy and pointed out that they were travelling in a small plane and had to reach Patna before night.

The leaders also held hectic parleys before they build a consensus on the matters highlighted in a joint resolution released after the meeting.

In their 'Samuhik Sankalp (joint resolution)', they demanded the implementation of a caste census while asserting that they have come together to defeat the 'hatred and violence being manufactured against minorities' as well as 'rising crimes against women, Dalits, tribals and Kashmiri Pandits'.

The parties expressed their steadfast resolve to safeguard the idea of India as enshrined in the Constitution.

The opposition parties also expressed 'grave concern' over the 'humanitarian tragedy' that has 'destroyed' Manipur.

The parties said they are determined to combat and confront the continuing assault on the Constitution and on constitutional rights of democratically elected state governments.

'There is a deliberate attempt to weaken the federal structure of our polity. The role of governors and LGs (lieutenant governors) in non-BJP ruled states has exceeded all constitutional norms,' the opposition parties said in the resolution.

They also alleged that the 'brazen misuse' of agencies by the BJP government against political rivals is undermining democracy.

Top opposition leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, chief ministers of West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra along with presidents and leaders of several parties attended the meeting.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.