NEW DELHI: Setting up an ‘NDA vs INDIA’ battle for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, 26 opposition parties decided to call their alliance the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I-N-D-I-A) after a mega meeting in Bengaluru today. The name for the united opposition was arrived at after much deliberation on Day 2 of the mega meeting. The next meeting of the parties will be held in Mumbai.In her remarks at the presser, Banerjee thanked all leaders present and referred to Rahul Gandhi as “our favourite.”
With months away from the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections, as many as 26 opposition parties met in Bengaluru on Tuesday to formulate a strategy to take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The opposition parties said their alliance will be known as INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance). The Congress President also said that an 11-member committee will be set up for coordination and the next meeting of the I.N.D.I.A will take place in Mumbai. The date of the meeting will be announced soon. In a joint statement, INDIA said it resolves to fight systematic conspiracy by BJP to target, persecute and suppress citizens. It also expressed concerns about the current Manipur situation.
“We express our grave concern over the humanitarian tragedy that has destroyed Manipur. The silence of the Prime Minister is shocking and unprecedented. We are determined to combat and confront the continuing assault on the Constitution and on constitutional rights of democratically elected state governments,” it said.
Addressing a joint press conference after a meeting, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that all the opposition parties have jointly decided to prepare an action plan for 2024 where they will talk about their ideology and programmes.“The fight is against the ideology of the BJP and their thinking, they are attacking the country, unemployment is rampant, and the country’s wealth is being taken away from millions and handed over in the hands of a few,” PTI quoted Gandhi as saying.
The idea of India is being attacked. The voice of India is being snatched from millions of Indians and being given to a few businessmen who are close to Narendra Modi. This is a fight for India’s voice and that is why we have chosen this name – Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (India). Said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. He said the fight is between NDA and India, between Narendra Modi and India and their ideology and India. We are defending the Indian constitution, the voice of our people and the idea of this great country, the idea of India. We all know who wins when someone takes on the idea of India. a “Modi versus INDIA” battle for the 2024 general elections.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee said NDA, can you challenge India? BJP, can you challenge India? We love our motherland. We are the patriotic people of the country. We are for the country, the world, for farmers, for all.
The BJP – which is gathering its allies together in Delhi — scoffed. Drawing a parallel with the banned organization SIMI, the BJP’s Amit Malviya said changing the UPA is just regrouping under another name. “In 2024, country will elect Prime Minister Modi, the leader… The future of our country is too precious to be risked with one of the self serving, corrupt, dynastic parties. It is apparent that they have come together to save their shrinking turfs, not serve the people,” read his tweet.
It was Mr Gandhi who finally came up with the acronym, tweeted Jitendra Ahwad of the Nationalist Congress Party. “His creativity was greatly appreciated,” his tweet read.. “Chak de India,” read a gleeful tweet from Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’Brien soon after the name was decided on. “NDA can you challenge INDIA? BJP can you challenge INDIA?” questioned his boss, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said, “The BJP wants to destroy democracy, Constitution, using autonomous bodies like CBI, ED, vigilance all such institutions against opposition party leaders and workers. This is a grave situation. We have come together to save this situation. How to save the country and the people of the country — this is the issue before us”. Asked who will lead the alliance, Mr Kharge said, “We are making a coordination committee of 11. At that meeting in Mumbai, we will decide on who the 11 will be, who the Convener will be, etc. These are small things”.
The opposition meeting coincided with the NDA meeting in Delhi, where the BJP, in a grand show of strength, has gathered together 38 parties. Refering to the Delhi meet, Mr Kharge claimed the BJP is running scared. “Earlier, they (the BJP) never cared. They never spoke… Tukde tukde ho gaya tha (the NDA was in pieces)… Now PM trying to put them together. It shows he is afraid of the Opposition,” Mr Kharge said.
(Bureau Report With Inputs from Bangaluru bureau).