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INDIA bloc meeting postponed—what is the future of opposition alliance

Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance was announced by opposition parties to take on ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2024 general election

INDIA bloc meeting postponed—what is the future of opposition alliance

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Tribune News Service

Vibha Sharma

Chandigarh, December 5

The INDIA bloc meeting scheduled in Delhi for Wednesday has been postponed. This after Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U supremo Nitish Kumar and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav opted out of the meeting called by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.

Nitish Kumar is generally seen as someone who initiated the idea of the formation of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance to take on the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 general election.

On Monday, Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also expressed her inability to attend. So far as the other major partner in the alliance—Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK chief MK Stalin—is concerned he seems to be preoccupied due to Cyclone Michaung.

What next

Congress leaders said another meeting would be planned shortly.

However, its performance in the three Hindi heartland states—Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh—is being seen as a major climbdown for the party contemplating a more central role for it and its leader Rahul Gandhi in the upcoming general election.

The step back by three prominent opposition leaders is being read as a huge message to the Congress trying to gain prominence in the INDIA bloc. Yadav was also quoted as saying that “Ab parinaam aa gaya hai toh ahankar bhi khatam ho gaya. Aane wale samay mein phir raasta niklega (Now that results are out, the ego has also ended. In the coming days, a new way forward will be found).”

He did not name anyone but it was clear who he was referring to.

Observers say the Congress may have won Telangana but the five-state results are still a major loss for it and a major victory for the BJP. It has also demonstrated lack of strategy, synergy and coherence in the idea of INDIA alliance. 

The bottomline is that the Congress is no longer seen as a party that can pose a challenge to the BJP in 2024 in the Hindi heartland.

Lack of 'samanvaya', coordination

Banerjee said the Congress lost Hindi heartland states because of the division of votes which could have been avoided with a seat-sharing arrangement. “We had suggested a seat-sharing arrangement. They lost because of division of votes,” she said. 

The SP, too, is upset with the Congress for not entering into an alliance in Madhya Pradesh.

With the general election around the corner, questions are being raised over whether any arrangement for seat-sharing is feasible now. The TMC has been questioning the Congress leadership on the delay in seat-sharing talks and many believe such negotiations should have started way earlier. 

"Opposition parties may have decided to adopt a united floor strategy in Parliament but their lack of strategy on key issues related to the alliance is all too evident. So far only three rounds of basic deliberations have been held while ideally everything should have been sorted out and laid down in black and white by now. This is no way to take on a party like the BJP," say observers.  

According to former J&K CM Omar Abdullah, “The Congress has not been able to understand the ground situation in Madhya Pradesh. What harm could have happened if they had given 5-7 seats to Akhilesh Yadav? What have they won now? The results are in front of everyone.”

Agencies also quoted him as saying that judging the results, if the situation is like this in future “INDIA alliance cannot win”. 




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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Akhilesh Yadav #Bihar #BJP #Congress #Mallikarjun Kharge #Narendra Modi #Nitish Kumar

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