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Opposition’s I.N.D.I.A bloc meeting likely in third week of December, seat-sharing talks top agenda

The first meeting of the Opposition's grand alliance, formed to oust the BJP from the Centre in 2024, was held in June this year in Patna, followed by meetings in Bengaluru and Mumbai. However, no agreements were reached in regard to seat-sharing formula.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 New Delhi Published on: December 08, 2023 6:52 IST
Opposition alliance, I.N.D.I.A bloc
Image Source : PTI Leaders of the Opposition's I.N.D.I.A bloc

As the 2024 Lok Sabha elections are inching closer, the Opposition’s I.N.D.I.A bloc is likely to hold another meeting between December 17 and 20 with the seat sharing agreement being the top agenda, sources said. The date for the meeting has yet not been finalised, however, it will be held in the third week of this month. According to sources, several constituents of the bloc have been pressing for a rapid final decision on the seat sharing in various states so that the candidates have sufficient time to campaign and gauge the situation on the ground.

Opposition's strategy

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had held a meeting of floor leaders of the I.N.D.I.A parties at his residence on Wednesday with a focus on parliamentary strategy for both Houses.

On Thursday, TMC MP Derek O'Brien was the only INDIA bloc leader besides Congress' to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy. O'Brien attended the ceremony as the representative of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was personally invited by Reddy, but could not attend due to pre-scheduled engagements.

The leaders of the TMC also raised the issue of seat-sharing during a meeting of opposition leaders held on Monday morning to decide the strategy for the Winter Session of Parliament.

Opposition's alliance

The bloc was formed in Patna on June 23 when its first meeting was held in the chairmanship of Nitish Kumar. The alliance has since then held two more meetings – in Bengaluru on July 17 and 18 and in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1. However, no agreements over the seat-sharing have been made so far. Over 25 parties have come together on a single platform aiming to oust the ruling BJP government from power at the Centre.

The upcoming meeting of the Opposition's grand alliance comes in the backdrop of their massive loss in the three Assembly elections in the Hindi heartland states -- Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan -- considered a semi-final ahead of the crucial final of the general elections next year. The Opposition had exuded confidence in defeating the BJP in all three states and gaining a momentum in the run-up to 2024 polls. However, the BJP won with a massive majority in all of the three states. The Congress could only manage to win in Telangana out of the five states which went to Assembly polls last month.

A meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A) was held in New Delhi on September 13.

(With PTI inputs)

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